Obsessive-compulsive and perseverative behaviors in Huntington's disease

Shayan Abdollah Zadegan, Luke Kupcha, Jorge Patino, Natalia Pessoa Rocha, Antonio L. Teixeira, Erin Furr Stimming

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Obsessive-compulsive and perseverative behaviors (OCBs/PBs) are characteristic features of Huntington's Disease (HD). Although a few recent research have attempted to discriminate between OCBs and PBs, most of the available evidence on OCBs does not consistently make this distinction. In this article, we aimed to explore the current inconsistencies in assessing and reporting OCBs/PBs and map the body of existing evidence. Up to half of the patients with motor manifest HD can experience OCBs. Separate reporting of PBs in HD patients has been uncommon among the studies and was frequently reported as a part of obsessive-compulsive symptoms. The structural limitation of the currently used rating scales and the overlaps in neuropathology and definition of OCBs and PBs are among the main reasons for the mixed reporting of OCBs/PBs. Perseverative thinking or behavior as a separate item is found in a few assessment tools, such as the Problem Behaviors Assessment - Short form (PBA-s). Even when the item exists, it is commonly reported as a composite score in combination with the obsessive-compulsive item. In addition to the significant psychological burden in individuals with HD, PBs are associated with somatic effects (e.g., cardiovascular symptoms) and high-risk behaviors (e.g., suicide). Recognition and monitoring of PBs in HD can aid in early detection of concerning symptoms and differentiating overlapping illnesses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number114767
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
StatePublished - Feb 26 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • Huntington's Disease
  • Neuropsychiatry
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior
  • Perseverative Behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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