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Keywords:

  • Huntington's disease

Abstract

The notion of specificity of visuospatial dysfunction in Huntington's disease (HD) was evaluated in a sample of afficted patients as a function of symptom duration, age at onset, and overall dementia severity. Factor analytic procedures indicated that overall visuospatial processing capacity (factor 1) as well as the ability for spatial manipulation (factor 3) was markedly affected in HD patients. In contrast, consistency of spatial judgment (factor 2) appeared to remain relatively intact in these patients. Age at onset seemed to have no relationship with any of these variables, whereas dementia severity demonstrated a significant relationship with overall visuospatial processing capacity. Most importantly, duration of symptoms was significantly associated with the declining ability to mentally perform spatial manipulations. The observation of circumscribed visuospatial impairment in HD patients may have important consequences for the further understanding of the neurobehavioral consequences of this disorder.