A systematic review of the Huntington Disease-Like 2 Phenotype

David G. Anderson, Ruth H. Walker, Myles Connor, Jonathan Carr, Russell L. Margolis, Amanda Krause

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Background: Huntington Disease-like 2 (HDL2) is a neurodegenerative disorder similar to Huntington Disease (HD) in its clinical phenotype, genetic characteristics, neuropathology and longitudinal progression. Proposed specific differences include an exclusive African ancestry, lack of eye movement abnormalities, increased Parkinsonism, and acanthocytes in HDL2. Objective: The objective was to determine the similarities and differences between HD and HDL2 by establishing the clinical phenotype of HDL2 with the published cases. Methods: A literature review of all clinically described cases of HDL2 until the end of 2016 was performed and a descriptive analysis was carried out. Results: Sixty-nine new cases were described between 2001 and 2016. All cases had likely African ancestry, and most were found in South Africa and the USA. Many features were found to be similar to HD, including a strong negative correlation between repeat length and age of onset. Chorea was noted in 48/57 cases (84%). Dementia was reported in 74% patients, and Parkinsonism in 37%. Psychiatric features were reported in 44 out of 47 cases. Patients with chorea had lower expanded repeat lengths compared to patients without chorea. Eye movements were described in 19 cases, 8 were abnormal. Acanthocytes were detected in 4 of the 13 patients tested. Nineteen out of 20 MRIs were reported as abnormal with findings similar to HD. Conclusion: This review clarifies some aspects of the HDL2 phenotype and highlights others which require further investigation. Features that are unique to HDL2 have been documented in a minority of subjects and require prospective validation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-46
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Huntington's Disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2017


  • Acanthocytosis
  • HDL2
  • Huntington disease-like 2
  • Huntington's disease
  • chorea
  • junctophilin-3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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