Changes in mental state and behaviour in Huntington's disease

Clare M. Eddy, Ellice Parkinson, Hugh E. Rickards

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

39 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Changes in mental state and behaviour have been acknowledged in Huntington's disease since the original monograph in 1872 provided evidence of disinhibition and impaired social cognition. Behavioural problems can manifest before obvious motor symptoms and are frequently the most disabling part of the illness. Although pharmacological treatments are used routinely for psychiatric difficulties in Huntington's disease, the scientific evidence base for their use is somewhat sparse. Moreover, effective treatments for apathy and cognitive decline do not currently exist. Understanding the social cognitive impairments associated with Huntington's disease can assist management, but related therapeutic interventions are needed. Future research should aim to design rating scales for behaviour and mental state in Huntington's disease that can detect change in clinical trials. Generally, communication and understanding of behaviour and mental state in Huntington's would be enhanced by a clear conceptual framework that unifies ideas around movement, cognition, emotion, behaviour, and mental state, reflecting both the experience of the patient and their underlying neuropathology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1079-1086
Number of pages8
JournalThe Lancet Psychiatry
Volume3
Issue number11
Early online date20 Sep 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2016

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