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October 1, 1995

A prospective evaluation of cognitive decline in early Huntington's disease
Functional and radiographic correlates

October 1995 issue
45 (10) 1867-1873


We examined prospectively the relationship between progressive disability in Huntington's disease (HD) and concomitant alterations in neuropsychological functioning and brain imaging indices in a cohort of 60 patients who were enrolled and followed for 30 to 42 months in a controlled clinical trial.Standardized measures of functional capacity and neuropsychological performance were collected, and CT was performed, at regular intervals every 6 to 12 months. Psychomotor skills showed the most significant and consistent decline among the cognitive functions assessed. Memory disturbances were already present at the time of enrollment, but memory did not deteriorate until patients reached advanced stages. Other cognitive operations, such as visual construction and semantic knowledge, manifested small and variable changes over time. CT indices of striatal atrophy correlated only with changes in psychomotor function, while the CT index of frontal atrophy weakly predicted memory and semantic knowledge scores at 42 months. These results confirmed earlier cross-sectional findings and extended our knowledge of the evolution of cognitive dysfunction in HD.
NEUROLOGY 1995;45: 1867-1873

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Published In

Volume 45Number 10October 1995
Pages: 1867-1873
PubMed: 7477984

Publication History

Published online: October 1, 1995
Published in print: October 1995


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Affiliations & Disclosures

From the UR-NIMH Clinical Research Center for the Study of Psychopathology of the Elderly (Drs. Bamford, Caine, and Cox) and the Departments of Psychiatry (Drs. Bamford and Caine), Biostatistics (Dr. Cox), and Neurology (Dr. Shoulson), University of Rochester School of Medicine, Rochester, NY; and the Department of Radiology (Dr. Kido), Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO.
Supported in part by grants NS17978 (K.A.B., I.S., D.K.K.), MH40381 (K.A.B., E.D.C., D.K.K., C.C.), and RR 00044 to the University of Rochester Clinical Research Center.
Received March 24, 1994. Accepted in final form March 1, 1995.
Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr Caine, University of Rochester Medical Center, 300 Crittenden Boulevard, Rochester, NY 14642-8409.

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