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Impaired planning but intact decision making in early Huntington's disease: implications for specific fronto-striatal pathology

Watkins, L. H. A., Rogers, R. D., Lawrence, Andrew David ORCID:, Sahakian, B. J., Rosser, Anne Elizabeth ORCID: and Robbins, T. W. 2000. Impaired planning but intact decision making in early Huntington's disease: implications for specific fronto-striatal pathology. Neuropsychologia 38 (8) , pp. 1112-1125. 10.1016/S0028-3932(00)00028-2

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Previous neuropsychological data have suggested that deficits in earlyHuntington’s disease (HD) include executive impairments, which often are linked with frontal-lobe dysfunction. This study sought to investigate the profile of cognitive deficits using two computerised tasks whose performance is known to rely on intact functions of separate areas of the prefrontal cortex. Twenty patients with early HD and 20 matched controls were given the one-touch Tower of London, a stringent measure of visuo-spatial planning, and a decisionmaking task, which involved selecting and gambling on outcomes on the basis of their differing probabilities. Patients were significantly less accurate than controls on the planning test, which is sensitive to frontal lobe lesions and is strongly associated with the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in functional imaging studies. On the decisionmaking task, patients were unimpaired on the quality of their decisionmaking, in contrast to previous reports of impairment on this task in patients with ventromedial prefrontal cortex lesions. This dissociation of performance is discussed in terms of the usual path of progression of HD through the striatum and the resultant pattern of disruption of the functioning of the different cortico-striatal functional loops.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI)
MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Uncontrolled Keywords: Executive function; Basal ganglia; Cognition; Frontal lobes
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0028-3932
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2022 09:10

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