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September 1978

Comparison of the Neuropsychological Deficits Associated With Early and Advanced Huntington's Disease

Author Affiliations

From the Psychology Service, Boston Veterans Administration Hospital (Dr Butters, and Ms Montgomery and Tarlow); the Neurology Services, Veterans Administration Outpatient Clinic (Dr Sax); and the Boston University School of Medicine (Drs Butters and Sax).

Arch Neurol. 1978;35(9):585-589. doi:10.1001/archneur.1978.00500330033006

• Patients with "recently" diagnosed Huntington's Disease (RHD) were compared on a neuropsychological test battery to patients who have had the disease three to 15 years (AHD) and to intact controls. While the patients with HD showed general nonfocal deficits on the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, the Wechsler Memory Scale, and tests of short-term memory and verbal fluency, the patients with RHD had focal deficits that stressed their memory deficits. The patients with RHD had IQs within the normal range, but their memory quotients, their performance on short-term memory tests, and their ability to search and retrieve from long-term memory were severely impaired. These results suggest that the cognitive deficits of patients with HD do not develop uniformally; memory disorders are early focal signs that precede the patients' more widespread intellectual deterioration.

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