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Huntington's chorea in Norway

  • Letten Saugstad (a1) and Ørnulv Ødegård (a1)

Synopsis

By means of a National Case Register of patients admitted to psychiatric hospitals in Norway it was possible to study the case-histories of the 199 patients admitted from 1916 to 1975 with a diagnosis of Huntington's chorea. Ascertainment is likely to have been most complete for the years 1930–50, when the prevalence rates ranged between 6 and 7 per 100000 population. The social adjustment of the patients was found to be more favourable than expected up to the onset of serious psychiatric and neurological symptoms. The marriage rate and the rate of reproduction were not lowered. Occupational distribution and the pattern of migration were normal. Depression and suicide were remarkably rare. The age of onset among single patients was nearly 10 years lower than among the married, and more than 13 years lower on admission to hospital, indicating selection for marriage. With a marriage rate of about 70% and the late manifestation of the disease, predictive tests without prospects of treatment are apt to increase significantly the burden on the carriers.

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Corresponding author

1Address for correspondence: Dr L. Saugstad, National Case Register of Serious Mental Disorder, Gaustad Hospital, Oslo 3, Norway.

References

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Huntington's chorea in Norway

  • Letten Saugstad (a1) and Ørnulv Ødegård (a1)

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