Electrodermal Activity in Patients with Huntington's Disease and Their Progeny

William G. Iacono, Daniel Roshi, Diane Lacoste

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Skin conductance was examined in patients with Huntington's disease (HD) and progeny at risk for HD to determine if electrodermal characteristics had potential to identify those progeny likely to succumb to HD. The two experimental groups chosen for study consisted of 7 patients in the early stages of HD and 29 progeny of HD patients. Because the HD and at‐risk groups differed in age and sexual composition, each was matched by age and sex to separate psychiatrically and medically healthy normal control samples. Skin conductance was recorded bilaterally while subjects listened to three series of stimuli: 8 85dB tones, 12 105dB tones, and two familiar sounds. Dependent measures included skin conductance level, number of nonspecific responses, number of responses elicited by each tone series and the sounds, the amplitude, latency, rise time, and half‐recovery rime of the first tone‐elicited response in each series, and habituation rate to the soft and loud tones. The data analysis was carried out by comparing each experimental group to its matched comparison sample. A variety of parametric and nonparametric tests were carried out; no significant differences emerged either between the HD patients and their control group or between the at‐risk subjects and their normal comparison group. Ninety‐seven percent and 86% of the at‐risk and HD subjects, respectively, responded at least once to the experimental stimuli, compared to 90% and 86% of the corresponding control groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)522-527
Number of pages6
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1987


  • Electrodermal activity
  • Habituation
  • Huntinglon's disease
  • Nonresponding


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