The psychopathology of Huntington's disease

S E Folstein
Research Publications—Association for Research in Nervous and Mental Disease 1991, 69: 181-91
Our findings suggest that HD can cause psychiatric disorder in two ways. First, by the direct action of the gene on striatal neurons, and second, by the indirect effect of the disordered family environment on the children, regardless of whether they have inherited the HD gene. The gene and the environment created by the gene caused different psychiatric disorders. The correlates of conduct disorder in HD correspond to those expected from principles already established by psychiatric research. The association of affective disorder and HD suggests two hypotheses: (a) affective disorder is part of a subcortical triad and will be present whenever there is subcortical (striatal) pathology and (b) functional affective disorder may be an example of a subcortical disorder with abnormalities of mood, memory, and movement and emerging indications of striatal pathology.

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