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Behavioral Changes Associated With HD
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The Behavioral Changes
Associated with Huntington's disease
Published by HOPES
(Huntington's Outreach Project for Education, at Stanford University)

Huntington's Disease (HD), an inherited neurodegenerative disease, damages specific areas of the brain, resulting in movement difficulties as well as cognitive and behavioral changes.

Behavioral changes are a characteristic feature of HD and are often the most distressing aspect of the condition for individuals and families dealing with HD. Although there is a great deal of variation in behavioral symptoms among individuals with HD, HD damages specific parts of the brain, resulting in specific and predictable behavioral changes.

However, it is important to look at what may be triggering the behaviors in order to provide an environment that minimizes difficult behaviors, behaviors that disrupt the ability of the individual or caretaker to function effectively in a safe environment.

What are some of the behavior changes that occur in people with HD?
Note: This section addresses some possible causes of specific HD behaviors. For a more complete description of the possible causes of general behavioral changes asscoiated with HD, read Part 2 of this chapter.