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Psychosomatics. 2007 Sep-Oct;48(5):400-4.

The impact of Huntington's disease on family life.

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Centre for Mental Health Studies, Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle, James Fletcher Hospital, Watt St., Newcastle 2300, Australia.


By assessing a group of adults who grew up in a household with a parent affected by Huntington's disease (HD), the authors explored the hypothesis that HD causes major disruption in family life. High rates of family dysfunction were reported. Adverse parenting in the form of parental and maternal overcontrol and paternal abuse were endorsed for both the HD-positive and HD-negative parent. These results illustrate the impact on all members of a family coping with HD. They are particularly stark, given the overall psychological health of the sample, and suggest that there is an urgent need to use a family perspective when assessing the need for psychosocial intervention in HD.

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