BRAIN - Huntington's disease

The upper of the two slices of brain is abnormal; the lower specimen is a slice of normal brain taken at approximately the same level. Comparison shows that the lateral ventricles in the upper specimen are dilated and the caudate nucleus thinned; it does not bulge into the side of the ventricle as it does below. The third ventricle appears to be much the same size in the two specimens. The corpus striatum is somewhat shrunken in comparison as seen on the posterior surface of the specimen. There is possibly some reduction in the amount of white matter apparent in the upper specimen.
This man developed Huntington's chorea in 1971. There was a probably family history. For several years he coped well with only slow deterioration and little mental deterioration. In April 1981 he was admitted with increasing difficulty in swallowing and talking and he subsequently suffered intermittent chest and urinary tract infections. He finally developed an aspiration pneumonia and died in 1982 at the age of 69.