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Dementia Due to Huntington's Disease Symptoms and DSM-IV Diagnosis

Dementia Due to Huntington's Disease Symptoms and Diagnosis Overview:

Dementia Due to Huntington's Disease symptoms and diagnostic criteria follow below. While some of these Dementia Due to Huntington's Disease symptoms may be recognized by family, teachers, legal and medical professionals,  and others, only  properly trained mental health professionals (psychologists, psychiatrists, professional counselors etc.) can or should even attempt to make a mental health diagnosis. Many additional factors are considered in addition to the Dementia Due to Huntington's Disease symptoms in making proper diagnosis, including frequently medical and psychological testing considerations. This information on Dementia Due to Huntington's Disease symptoms and diagnostic criteria are for information purposes only and should never replace the judgment and comprehensive assessment of a trained mental health clinician. 


294.1 Dementia Due to Huntington's Disease

The essential feature of Dementia Due to Huntington's Disease is the presence of a dementia that is judged to be the direct pathophysiological consequence of Huntington's disease. Huntington's disease is an inherited progressive degenerative disease of cognition, emotion, and movement. The disease affects men and women equally and is transmitted by a single autosomal dominant gene on the short arm of chromosome 4. The disease is usually diagnosed in the late 30ís to early 40ís but may begin as early as age 4 years in the juvenile form or as late as age 85 years in the late-onset form. The onset of Huntington's disease is often heralded by insidious changes in behavior and personality, including depression, irritability, and anxiety. Some individuals present with abnormalities of movement that resemble increased fidgeting and that later progress to characteristic generalized choreoathetosis. Difficulties with memory retrieval, executive functioning, and judgment are common early in the course, with more severe memory deficits occurring as the disease progresses. Disorganized speech and psychotic features are sometimes present. Late in the disease, characteristic "boxcar ventricles" may be seen on structural brain imaging due to the atrophy of the striatum. Positron-emission tomography (PET) may show striatal hypometabolism early in the disease. Offspring of individuals with Huntington's disease have a 50% chance of developing the disease. A genetic test is available to determine with relative certainty whether a given at-risk individual is likely to develop the disease; however, such testing may be best adminis≠tered by centers with experience in counseling and follow-up of individuals at risk for Huntington's-disease.

Information from Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV

Also, See other Diagnosis and Symptoms of Delirium, Dementia, and Amnestic and Other Cognitive Disorders

Other Mental Health Diagnostic Symptoms and Criteria  

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