Background During the course of the disease, patients with Huntington’s disease (HD) can present with a range of neuropsychological impairments, most predominantly subcortical and frontal executive deficits, which can have significant impact upon daily functioning and care needs.
Aims This study aims to identify the course of cognitive deficits in a group of patients diagnosed with HD in a specialist long-term care setting.
Methods/techniques Six patients, in a specialist long term care setting, underwent serial neuropsychological assessment using assessment tools appropriate to their level of cognitive functioning.
Results/outcome All patients presented with neuropsychological impairment; this varied according to their stage of illness and the predominant features of their disease; further deterioration on serial assessment also varied.
Conclusions Patients with HD in long-term care present with diverse presentations of neuropsychological impairment. Their neuropsychological deficits can have significant impact upon their functional ability, mood, behaviour and quality of life. Therefore, a specialist and person-centred approach to care in long-term settings is necessary and the need for neuropsychological assessment of these patients is highlighted, in order to understand the complex and changing needs of these patients; this approach is required in order to optimise patients’ quality of life and ensure an appropriate response to alteration in neuropsychological status, corresponding functioning and ongoing care needs.
- Neuropsychological assessment
- Long-term Care
- Huntington’s disease