Abstract

We assessed 19 patients with Huntington's disease (HD) at early to moderately advanced stages of their disease using memory tests that investigated verbal and visual recall and recognition. In those tests where identical material was subject to recall and recognition the standardized results (z scores) were lower for recognition. Performance was better with pictorial than with verbal material. While recognition bias and savings scores did not differ significantly from controls, all other recognition parameters did so. This is in contrast to the claim that defective retrieval in HD is greatly enhanced by multiple choice recognition. One major reason for maintaining this assumption was apparently the disregard of false-positive responses. Our results indicate that verbal and visual recognition are impaired in HD, and the notion of a salient deficit of free recall is not supported.