The mind fragility of Huntington Disease patients in a recent publication
The results of a study describing a link between specific changes in behavior and cognitive abilities in patients with Huntington's disease have been published in the journal Brain and Behavior.
The results of a study describing a link between specific changes in behavior and cognitive abilities in patients with Huntington's disease have just been published in the journal Brain and Behavior.
The study, supported by LIRH Foundation, was coordinated by researchers from IRCCS Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza (CSS)/ Mendel and conducted in collaboration with researchers from LIRH, Sapienza University of Rome, L'Aquila University and of IRCCS Carlo Besta in Milan, on a population of 177 patients.
Notoriously, the evolution of behavioral disorder and cognitive deficit represent processes that are not yet predictable in Huntington's disease and are what most influence the loss of autonomy and the quality of life of patients. The research creates the basis for understanding how some specific pathological behaviors can be associated with alterations of cognitive functions, thus identifying, in patients, predictable profiles in the clinic which therefore can be potentially useful also on a therapeutic and rehabilitative level.
Specifically, it has been highlighted how controlling, repetitive and apathetic behaviors are strictly correlated to a reduction in the speed in processing information and poor mental flexibility. These aspects tend to influence each other, creating vicious circles that make the daily management of the patient by family members and clinical management by specialists very complex.
"Huntington's disease is not just a movement disorder" says Ferdinando Squitieri, coordinator of the study and Head of the Huntington and Rare Diseases Unit at IRCCS Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza (CSS)/Mendel - "our team is committed, since many years, to interpreting how behavior and intellectual faculties change from before the onset of symptoms related to motor disability ".
"Our work highlights how the various symptom domains related to Huntington's disease cannot and should not be interpreted individually, but rather show overlaps and interconnections that remain stable during the evolution of the disease" says Simone Migliore, first author of the study and neuropsychologist researcher at the Huntington and Rare Diseases Unit at IRCCS Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza (CSS)/Mendel.
"This study represents a further and important step forward in understanding Huntington's as a complex disease, which requires a holistic, integrated and multidisciplinary approach. Above all, it makes us understand how important it is to be able to capture - as early as possible - even mild signals of alterations affecting the sphere of the mind: more subtle and difficult to grasp than those relating to the body, but potentially useful for developing effective treatment strategies. We are proud to have actively supported and contributed to this research" - commented Barbara D'Alessio, President of LIRH Foundation.