Should Huntington disease be considered in the differential diagnoses of schizophrenia?

Updated: Mar 16, 2018
  • Author: Frances R Frankenburg, MD; Chief Editor: Glen L Xiong, MD  more...
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Answer

Huntington disease is a neurodegenerative disorder marked by neuronal loss throughout the brain, especially in the striatum. This is an autosomal dominant disorder, the gene for which has been located on chromosome 4. A family history is essential to making the diagnosis.

The occurrence of choreoathetoid movements well before exposure to antipsychotic agents is suggestive of Huntington disease. About three-fourths of patients with Huntington disease initially present with psychiatric symptoms.


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