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Atypical social cognitive processing in premotor Huntington’s disease: a single case study

  • T. Burke (a1) (a2), D. Healy (a3), P. Casey (a4), O. Hardiman (a2) (a3) and N. Pender (a1) (a2) (a5)...



We report the case of a 52-year-old male with pre-motor Huntington’s disease (HD) who has undergone detailed clinical and neuropsychological examination. This patient’s negative symptomatology and behavioural change are having a detrimental impact on his social, occupational and interpersonal life, in the absence of motor symptoms.


The patient has undergone repeat neuropsychological testing (T1 aged 50; T2 aged 52) with particular focus on executive function and social cognition on repeat testing.


This case details a specific manifestation of HD relating to behavioural, psychiatric and social affective deficits.


This case illustrates how social cognitive changes can occur in HD, months and even years prior to the onset of motor features and how such unrecognized deficits can have a deleterious impact on an individual’s functional ability and lifestyle, before the disease is traditionally considered to have become manifest.


Corresponding author

*Address for correspondence: T. Burke, Department of Psychology, Lower Ground Floor, Beaumont Hospital, Dublin 9, Ireland. (Email:


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