Cognitive impairment in Huntington disease: diagnosis and treatment.

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Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep 2011 Oct;11(5):474-83

Departments of Psychiatry, Neurology, Neurosciences, and Psychology, The University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, Research, Iowa City, IA, 52242-1000, USA.

Cognition has been well characterized in the various stages of Huntington disease (HD) as well as in the prodrome before the motor diagnosis is given. Although the clinical diagnosis of HD relies on the manifestation of motor abnormalities, the associated impairments have been growing in prominence for several reasons. First, research to understand the most debilitating aspects of HD has suggested that cognitive and behavioral changes place the greatest burden on families, are most highly associated with functional decline, and can be predictive of institutionalization. Second, cognitive impairments are evident at least 15 years prior to the time at which motor diagnosis is given. Finally, cognitive decline is associated with biological markers such as brain atrophy, circulating levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factors, and insulin-like growth factor 1. Efforts are now underway to develop valid and reliable measures of cognition in the prodrome as well as in all stages of HD so that clinical trials can be conducted using cognitive outcomes.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11910-011-0215-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3628771PMC
October 2011
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