Psychogenic non-epileptic seizures in early Huntington's disease

Pract Neurol. 2016 Dec;16(6):452-454. doi: 10.1136/practneurol-2016-001423. Epub 2016 Jun 21.


Huntington's disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative condition characterised by motor dysfunction with involuntary movements and loss of voluntary control, cognitive deterioration and psychiatric problems. We report a 51-year-old man with early HD who experienced stereotyped episodes of repetitive, purposeless complex movements and unresponsiveness. His neurological examination was compatible with HD as were all investigations. We diagnosed psychogenic non-epileptic seizures. While seizures are common in juvenile-onset HD, they are no more prevalent in adult-onset HD than in the general population. However, neuropsychiatric symptoms are common in HD and can involve a number of different complaints. Patients may experience dissociative attacks soon after manifesting a HD diagnosis. Such episodes can be managed with patient and carer education, cognitive behavioural therapy and anxiolytic selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

Keywords: Huntington disease; case reports; pseudoseizures.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Cognition Disorders
  • Humans
  • Huntington Disease / complications
  • Huntington Disease / diagnosis*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Prevalence
  • Seizures / etiology*