• Mirela Batta Oddelek za psihiatrijo Splošna bolnišnica Maribor Pivola 10 2311 Hoče
  • Arijana Turčin Oddelek za psihiatrijo Splošna bolnišnica Maribor Pivola 10 2311 Hoče
  • Blanka Kores Plesničar Oddelek za psihiatrijo Splošna bolnišnica Maribor Pivola 10 2311 Hoče
Keywords: Huntington disease, psychiatric symptoms, treatment


Background. Huntington disease occurrs rarely, it can be encountered not only by neurologists and psychiatrists but also by other medical practitioners. Its characteristic features are involuntary movements, cognitive disorders and gradual development of dementia. Diagnosis is given on the basis of these clinical features, positive familial anamnesis, with the laboratory exclusion of other neuropsychiatric diseases and with the help of neuroimaging methods (in particular NMR). The disease can be only confirmed by means of genetic analysis.

Patients and methods. In this article, four cases of patients with Huntington disease and diverse psychiatric disorders that were hospitalised at the psychiatric department of the Maribor General Hospital between October 2002 and March 2003 are described. All the patients fulfilled the valid criteria for the diagnosis of Huntington disease. However, they differed according to their accompanying psychiatric psychopathology, age and social problems.

Conclusions. The purpose of this article is to draw attention to different psychiatric symptoms and clinical manifestations of Huntington disease that are often misleading in the diagnostic process. In addition, exigency of early diagnostics, guidelines for referrals to genetic testing and psychiatric monitoring of these patients are emphasised.


Download data is not yet available.


Sadock BJ, Sadock VA. Kaplan & Sadock’s comprehensive textbook of psychiatry. 7th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 2000: 292–5.

Marsden CD, Fowler TJ. Clinical Neurology. London: Edward Arnold, 1998: 217–8.

Naarding P, Kremer HPH, Zitman FG. Huntington’s disease: a review of the literature on prevalence and treatment of neuropsychiatric phenomena. Eur Psychiatry 2001; 16: 439–45.

Anderson KE, Marder KS. An overview of psychiatric symptoms in Huntington’s disease. Curr Psychiatr Rep 2001; 3: 379–88.

Amann B, Sterr A, Thoma H, Messer T, Kapfhammer HP, Grunze H. Psychopathological changes preceding motor symptoms in Huntington’s disease: a report on four cases. J Biol Psychiatry 2000; 1: 55–8.

American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. 4th Edition (DSM IV). Washington: American Psychiatric Association, 1994.

Paulsen JS, Ready RE, Hamilton JM, Mega MS, Cummings JL. Neuropsychiatric aspects of Huntington’s disease. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2001; 71: 310–14.

Lovestone S, Hodgson S, Sham P, Differ AM, Levy R. Familial psychiatric presentation of Huntington’s disease. J Med Genet 1996; 33: 128–31.

Tsuang D, Almquist EW, Lipe H et al. Familial aggregation of psychotic symptoms in Huntington’s disease. Am J Psychiatry 2000; 157: 1955–9.

Dallocchio C, Buffa C, Tinelli C, Mazzarello P. Effectiveness of risperidone in Huntington chorea patients. J Clin Psychopharmacol 1999; 19: 101–3.

Madhusoodanan S, Brenner R. Use of risperidone in psychosis associated with Huntington’s disease. Am J Ger Psychiatry 1998; 6: 347–9.

Paleacu D, Anca M, Giladi N. Olanzapine in Huntington’s disease. Acta Neurol Scand 2002; 105: 441–4.

Bonelli RM, Manhert FA, Niederwieser G. Olanzapine for Huntington’s disease: an open label study. Clin Neuropharmacol 2002; 25: 263–5.

Blass DM, Steinberg M, Leroi I, Lyketsos CG. Successful multimodality treatment of severe behavioural disturbance in a patient with advanced Huntington’s disease. Am J Psychiatry 2001; 12: 1966–72.

Wood BE, Kim KK, Harpold G. Psychiatric management of Huntington’s disease in extended care settings. Psychiat Serv 2002; 6: 703–5.

Horvat L, Dernovšek MZ, Mlakar J. Prikaz bolnika s Huntingtonovo boleznijo, ki se je začela kot psihotična motnja. Zdrav Vestn 2001; 70: 325–7.

How to Cite
Batta M, Turčin A, Kores Plesničar B. PSYCHIATRIC ASPECTS OF HUNTINGTON DISEASE – CASE REPORTS. ZdravVestn [Internet]. 1 [cited 15Nov.2019];73(4). Available from:
Professional Article