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Neurodegener Dis Manag. 2011 Oct 1;1(5):407-414.

Depression in the early stages of Huntington disease.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, 1-287 MEB, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA.


Huntington disease (HD) has traditionally been considered a movement disorder, but cognitive and psychiatric symptoms also prominently factor into its clinical presentation. Depression is one of the most common psychiatric disturbances in HD, with its prevalence highest in manifest disease during stage 2, but it is also present during the illness prodrome (the period before manifestation of motor symptoms). Identification and treatment of depression in individuals with the HD mutation is an essential part of clinical management in this population, especially owing to the high risk of suicide. This article summarizes what is currently known about the presentation and treatment of depression in the early stages of HD and provides advice to clinicians treating this population.

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