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A patient with cognitive and movement complaints 02

Topic: Adult

Created on Tuesday, September 23 2008 by jdmiles

Last modified on Tuesday, September 23 2008.

A 40 year-old female presents to your office accompanied by a family member, who helps provide the history. The patient has had a 1 year history of worsening neurologic and psychiatric issues, including memory problems and odd movements and uncharacteristic irritability. The patient is on hydrochlorothiazide for hypertension, and has no other past medical history. The patient confirms that other family members have had similar symptoms, and some have died at an early age. On exam, you note motor impersistence, oculomotor dysfunction, cognitive slowing, slightly impaired memory, and generalized choreiform movements. MRI of the brain is remarkable only for slight atrophy of the caudate bilaterally. The patient's diagnosis was confirmed by genetic testing, which showed a CAG trinucleotide repeat on chromosome 4.
Of the following statements, which is most accurate about this patient's disease?

 
        A) Approximately 5% of patients with this disorder attempt suicide
 
        B) Haloperidol can delay the progression of this disease
 
        C) Pathophysiology of this disease involves a polyisoleucine strand
 
        D) Approximately one quarter of patients with this disorder attempt suicide
 
        E) Rapid finger tapping is likely to be normal in patients with this disease
 

 


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This question was created on September 23, 2008 by jdmiles.
This question was last modified on September 23, 2008.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ANSWERS AND EXPLANATIONS




A) Approximately 5% of patients with this disorder attempt suicide

This answer is incorrect.


This patient has Huntington disease (HD). The suicide rate in HD is estimated to be greater than 10%, and as many as 25% of patients with HD attempt suicide.   (See References)

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B) Haloperidol can delay the progression of this disease

This answer is incorrect.


This patient has Huntington disease (HD). There is currently no disease-altering treatment, but the choreiform movements are sometimes alleviated with neuroleptics (e.g., haloperidol) or tetrabenazine.   (See References)

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C) Pathophysiology of this disease involves a polyisoleucine strand

This answer is incorrect.


This patient has Huntington disease (HD). Genetically, HD appears to be caused by a CAG trinucleotide expanding repeat on chromosome 4. This reults in a polyglutamine strand incorporated into the translated huntingtin protein.   (See References)

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D) Approximately one quarter of patients with this disorder attempt suicide

This answer is correct.


This patient has Huntington disease (HD). The suicide rate in HD is estimated to be greater than 10%, and as many as 25% of patients with HD attempt suicide.   (See References)

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E) Rapid finger tapping is likely to be normal in patients with this disease

This answer is incorrect.


This patient has Huntington disease (HD). Fine motor skills are impaired in HD. Having the patient rapidly tap his or her forefinger against his or her thumb is a sensitive test of this impairment. Movements are likely to be slow or irregular.   (See References)

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References:

1. Walker, F.O. (2007). "Huntington's Disease." Semin Neurol, 27(2) 143-50. (PMID:17390259)
2. Walker, F.O. (2007). "Huntington's disease." Lancet, 369(9557) 218-28. (PMID:17240289)
3. Zaidat, O.O., and Lerner, A.J. (2002). The Little Black Book of Neurology, 4th Edition. Mosby, St. Louis (ISBN:0323014151) Advertising:
4. Bertelson, J.A., and Price, B.H. (2004). Depression and psychosis in neurological practice. In Bradley, W.G., Daroff, R.B., Fenichel, G.M., and Jankovic, J. (Eds.). Neurology in Clinical Practice, Fourth Edition. Butterworth Heinemann, Philadelphia, pp. 103-116 (ISBN:0750674695). Advertising:
5. Shannon, K.M. (2004). Movement disorders. In Bradley, W.G., Daroff, R.B., Fenichel, G.M., and Jankovic, J. (Eds.). Neurology in Clinical Practice, Fourth Edition. Butterworth Heinemann, Philadelphia, pp. 2125-2168 (ISBN:0750674695). Advertising:
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adult
A patient with cognitive and movement complaints 02
Question ID: 010108123
Question written by J. Douglas Miles, (C) 2006-2009, all rights reserved.
Created: 09/23/2008
Modified: 09/23/2008
Estimated Permutations: 49140000

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