Which diagnostic procedures in the elderly? The case of late-onset Huntington's disease

Ildebrando Appollonio, Giovanni B. Frisoni, Natale Curtò, Marco Trabucchi, Lodovico Frattola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The typical adult-onset form of Huntington's disease (HD) is a clinical condition in which the latest advances of genetic research can be usefully applied during the course of the diagnostic process; not so clear are the guidelines for the much less frequent late-onset variant. We have recently seen three patients in their late sixties who had been misdiagnosed for up to 10 years due to the apparently isolated, mild, and slowly progressive nature of their hyperkinetic movements or cognitive disorders. Only after the results of DNA sequencing on a blood sample became available could the appropriate diagnosis of late-onset HD be reached. By contrast, neuroimaging studies lacked sufficient sensitivity and specificity. Appropriate neurogeriatric assessment in these cases should follow specific guidelines and should always include selected high-technology procedures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-46
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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