An assessment of verbal recall, recognition and fluency abilities in patients with Huntington's disease

Cortex. 1986 Mar;22(1):11-32. doi: 10.1016/s0010-9452(86)80030-2.


Two investigations concerned with the memory deficits of patients with Huntington's Disease (HD) were performed. In the first experiment, early and advanced HD patients showed superior recognition memory than did alcoholic Korsakoff patients on modified recall and recognition forms of the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test. In contrast, on a letter fluency test (FAS) requiring the patients to search their semantic memories, both HD groups produced fewer correct words and perseveration errors than did the alcoholic Korsakoff group. In the second experiment, HD patients and Korsakoff patients were compared in their and recognition of short passages. While the HD and Korsakoff patients were equally impaired on recall tests, the HD patients evidenced significantly better recognition memory than did the amnesic group. As on the fluency test, the prose of the Korsakoff patients was characterized by intrusion (i.e., perseverative) errors. The results of the two experiments indicate that HD and Korsakoff patients' memory deficits are related to deficiencies in retrieval and an increased sensitivity to proactive interference, respectively.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Amnestic Disorder / diagnosis
  • Alcohol Amnestic Disorder / psychology
  • Attention
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Huntington Disease / diagnosis*
  • Huntington Disease / psychology
  • Male
  • Memory*
  • Mental Recall*
  • Middle Aged
  • Retention, Psychology
  • Semantics
  • Serial Learning
  • Speech Production Measurement
  • Verbal Behavior*
  • Verbal Learning*