When does Huntington's disease begin?

Jeffrey R. Campodonico, Elizabeth Aylward, Ann Marie Codori, Candace Young, Laura Krafft, Michael Magdalinski, Neal Ranen, Phillip R. Slavney, Jason Brandt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Recent studies have detected basal ganglia atrophy in clinically asymptomatic persons with the genetic mutation that causes Huntington's disease (HD). Whether reductions in caudate and putamen volume on MRI scans are associated with changes in cognitive and neurologic functioning was examined in 13 healthy adults with the IT-15 mutation. Reduced striatal volume was found to correlate with greater neurologic (largely motor) impairment, slower mental processing speed, and poorer verbal learning, although none of the participants met even liberal criteria for clinical diagnosis of HD. These correlations are strikingly similar to those observed in symptomatic HD patients, possibly reflecting the earliest manifestations of disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)467-473
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the International Neuropsychological Society
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1998


  • Cognitive tests
  • Genetics
  • Huntington's disease
  • MRI scans
  • Presymptomatic testing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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