Understanding Behavior

Mary C. Edmondson, MD
Duke University Health System
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health
President, HD Reach

The following sections on Understanding behavior in HD is for informational purposes only, and does not constitute medical advice. Treatment decisions should be reviewed with your personal physician.

Huntington’s Disease is a very complex disease. It affects a part of the brain that connects with many other important areas. This is why there are so many diverse symptoms related to movement, memory, language, mood and behavior. One of the most challenging aspects of Huntington Disease is change in behavior. Why these behaviors happen, how to describe them to your doctors, and how to manage them are questions asked frequently.

Targeted treatment of behavior symptoms in Huntington’s disease improves quality of life not just for the affected person, but for the entire HD family. Irritability, aggression, depression, and suicide, to name a few of the behavioral and psychiatric problems of HD, are understood and treated more effectively now than ever.