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HD Reach
2409 Crabtree Blvd, Ste 107
Raleigh, NC 27604

Monday through Friday 9 AM - 5 PM

HD Reach
2409 Crabtree Blvd, Ste 107
Raleigh, NC 27604

Monday through Friday 9 AM - 5 PM

Changes in behavior start with damage to the prefrontal cortex. The prefrontal cortex is responsible for organizing, planning, sequencing, and multitasking. When changes in a person’s environment happens, the prefrontal cortex organizes a change in behavior; this is why people with HD have a much more rigid routine and can benefit from a strict, predictable schedule. For people with HD, change makes them anxious, they need more reminders if something needs to be done, and everything is done much slower than before because links between steps are missing from their memory. It is common for someone who has HD to feel overwhelmed and have trouble knowing what he or she needs to pay attention to. 

The prefrontal cortex is also responsible for several interpersonal reactions especially as they relate to relationships. Some of these reactions include: 

  • Difficulty anticipating social consequences of behavior.
  • Difficulty controlling exaggerated behavioral expression or highly inhibited and apathetic behavior.
  • Difficulty recognizing social cues and nonverbal communication.
  • It becomes more difficult to learn.
  • Language is impaired.
  • Thinking slows down.

Risky Behaviors

Common behavioral changes in people with HD are typical risky behaviors impacting the safety of the patient and others while reducing the quality of life and possibly interfering with the effectiveness of any prescribed medication. These behaviors may include: 

  • Avoiding dental care.
  • Avoiding medical care.
  • Driving without permission.
  • Excessive alcohol use.
  • Gambling.
  • Missing doctor’s appointments.
  • Narcotic use.
  • Not taking medication as prescribed.
  • Not using seat belts.
  • Smoking.
  • Unprotected sex with strangers.
  • Use of mind-altering drugs.

If a loved one or family member is struggling with, or more prone to, risky behaviors, contact one of our social workers who can help you decide what to do. For support from other families experiencing similar problems, consider joining one of our support groups.  

HD Reach
2409 Crabtree Blvd, Ste 107
Raleigh, NC 27604

Monday through Friday 9 AM - 5 PM

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