Patients with Huntington's disease may suffer from a variety of emotional symptoms which
do not fit any specific psychiatric diagnosis, but may nevertheless be a source of distress and a focus of treatment including
irritability, anxiety and apathy.
Some of these symptoms are related to the disease itself, and others can be seen as a
response to changing circumstances, such as a patient who becomes anxious about going to the market because her involuntary
movements attract attention.
Patients with HD may undergo personality changes, becoming irritable, disinhibited,
or obsessional. In some cases these changes represent an accentuation, or coarsening of personality characteristics the person
Other times they will be a radical departure from the patient's usual state,
which can be very distressing to families. Families should be reassured, as patients can usually be
helped by better communication, environmental interventions, and judicious use of medications.