Affiliations: [a] Department of Psychology, School of Human and Community Development, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
| [b] Division of Human Genetics, National Health Laboratory Service and School of Pathology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
University of the Witwatersrand Donald Gordon Medical Centre, Neurology, Johannesburg, South Africa
Correspondence to: Aline Ferreira-Correia, Department of Psychology, School of Human and Community Development, University of the Witwatersrand. Johannesburg, South Africa. Address: Private Bag 3, Wits, 2050, Johannesburg, South Africa. Tel.: +27 11 717 4527; E-mail: [email protected].
Abstract: Background:Huntington Disease-Like 2 (HDL2) is a rare autosomal dominant disorder caused by an abnormal CAG/CTG triplet repeat expansion on chromosome 16q24. The symptoms of progressive decline in motor, cognitive and psychiatric functioning are similar to those of Huntington’s disease (HD). The psychiatric features of the HDL2 have been poorly characterized. Objective:To describe the neuropsychiatric features of HDL2 and compare them with those of HD. Methods:A blinded cross-sectional design was used to compare the behavioural component of the Unified Huntington’s Disease Rating Scale (UHDRS) in participants with HDL2 (n = 15) and HD (n = 13) with African ancestry. Results:HDL2 patients presented with psychiatric symptoms involving mood disturbances and behavioural changes that were not significantly different from those in the HD group. Duration of disease and motor performance correlated (p < 0.001) with the Functional Capacity score and the Independence score of the UHDRS. HD patients reported movement dysfunction as the first symptom more frequently than HDL2 Patients (p < 0.001). Conclusion:The psychiatric phenotype of HDL2 is similar to that of HD and linked to motor decline and disease duration. Psychiatric symptoms seem more severe for HDL2 patients in the early stages of the disease.