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Case Reports in Psychiatry
Volume 2018, Article ID 3915657, 4 pages
Case Report

Huntington’s Disease in a Patient Misdiagnosed as Conversion Disorder

1Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, Setúbal Hospital Center, Rua Camilo Castelo Branco, 2910-446 Setúbal, Portugal
2Department of Neurology, Setúbal Hospital Center, Rua Camilo Castelo Branco, 2910-446 Setúbal, Portugal
3University Psychiatric Clinic, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Lisboa, Avenida Professor Egas Moniz, 1649-028 Lisboa, Portugal

Correspondence should be addressed to João Machado Nogueira; moc.liamg@arieugonodahcamsolracoaoj and Ana Margarida Franco; moc.liamg@ocnarfadiragrama

João Machado Nogueira and Ana Margarida Franco contributed equally to this work.

Received 6 October 2017; Revised 4 January 2018; Accepted 22 January 2018; Published 18 February 2018

Academic Editor: Toshiya Inada

Copyright © 2018 João Machado Nogueira et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Huntington’s disease (HD) is an inherited, progressive, and neurodegenerative neuropsychiatric disorder caused by the expansion of cytosine-adenine-guanine (CAG) trinucleotide in Interested Transcript (IT) 15 gene on chromosome 4. This pathology typically presents in individuals aged between 30 and 50 years and the age of onset is inversely correlated with the length of the CAG repeat expansion. It is characterized by chorea, cognitive deficits, and psychiatric symptoms. Usually the psychiatric disorders precede motor and cognitive impairment, Major Depressive Disorder and anxiety disorders being the most common presentations. We present a clinical case of a 65-year-old woman admitted to our Psychiatric Acute Unit. During the 6 years preceding the admission, the patient had clinical assessments made several times by different specialties that focused only on isolated symptoms, disregarding the syndrome as a whole. In the course of her last admission, the patient was referred to our Neuropsychiatric Team, which made the provisional diagnosis of late-onset Huntington’s disease, later confirmed by genetic testing. This clinical vignette highlights the importance of a multidisciplinary approach to atypical clinical presentations and raises awareness for the relevance of investigating carefully motor symptoms in psychiatric patients.