(OERP) Videoconference Series - Understanding the Cognitive and Behavioral Features of Huntington’s Disease 12.2.20
Office of Educational Resources and Planning (OERP) Videoconference Series
The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study, originally published in 1998, illuminated the graded relationship between negative experiences in early life and long-term medical and mental health consequences. Since then, multiple studies have yielded comparable results and there has been an increased push to provide clinical services in a trauma-informed manner. While this is a significant step in the right direction, there has been ongoing debate about the utility of ACE assessments in clinical settings, and particularly with marginalized communities. Ultimately, the potential dangers of relying too heavily on assessing ACE scores need to be considered and more effort put into promoting resilience and protective factors while teaching skills that can help buffer traumatic experiences.
By the completion of this session, participants should be able to:
1. Explain the genetic basis for Huntington’s Disease and the relationship between genotype and clinical presentation
2. Identify cognitive, behavioral, and psychosocial complications of Huntington’s Disease
3. Formulate a comprehensive plan to help patients, families, and caregivers cope with these complications
Huntington’s Disease (HD) is a trinucleotide repeat disorder with autosomal dominant inheritance that affects motor
function, cognition, and behavior. Subcortical degeneration due to accumulation of abnormal huntingtin protein causes a
syndrome similar to other frontal dementias, which often includes behavioral symptoms. Age of onset may be at any stage
of life, however clinical (motor) manifestation is most often in middle age and therefore affects family systems as well as
individuals. Patient’s with HD are more likely than the general population to attempt suicide, a phenomenon complicated by
both depressive disorders and impulsivity due to frontal cognitive impairment. This presentation will address challenges in
managing behavioral and psychosocial aspects of HD, including depression, apathy, psychosis, and impulsivity, with an
emphasis on medication selection, multidisciplinary care, and strategies for families and caregivers.
Morgan Faeder, MD, PhD
Dr. Faeder is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and
attending psychiatrist at the UPMC Huntington’s Disease Society of America Center of Excellence. He is the Medical Director
of Neuropsychiatry and Director of the UPMC Consultation Liaison Psychiatry Fellowship. He received his MD from the
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and completed residency in psychiatry and fellowship in consultation-liaison
psychiatry at UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital. He speaks nationally on behavioral manifestations of Huntington’s Disease
and other topics in neuropsychiatry. His academic interests include neuropsychiatry, collaborative care, LGBTQ+ healthcare,
and medical education.
No members of the planning committee, speakers, presenters, authors, content reviewers and/or anyone else in a position to control the content of this education activity have relevant financial relationships with any proprietary entity producing, marketing, re-selling, or distributing health care goods or services, used on, or consumed by, patients to disclose.
In support of improving patient care, the University of Pittsburgh is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.
The University of Pittsburgh School designates this live activity for a maximum of 2.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
Other Healthcare Professionals
Other health care professionals will receive a certificate of attendance confirming the number of contact hours commensurate with the extent of participation in this activity.
- 2.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
- 2.00 Attendance