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“Forgetting to Remember” in Huntington's Disease: A Study of Laboratory, Semi-Naturalistic, and Self-Perceptions of Prospective Memory

  • Diane R. Nicoll (a1), Eva Pirogovsky (a2) (a3), Steven Paul Woods (a3), Heather M. Holden (a4), J. Vincent Filoteo (a2) (a3), Shea Gluhm (a5), Jody Corey-Bloom (a5) and Paul E. Gilbert (a1) (a4)...

Prospective memory (PM) is dependent on executive processes known to be impaired in Huntington's disease (HD); however, no study to the authors’ knowledge has investigated PM in this group. We examined performance-based, semi-naturalistic, and self-reported PM in 20 individuals diagnosed with mild–moderate HD and 20 demographically similar controls. Relative to controls, HD participants demonstrated significantly lower scores in time-based PM, event-based PM (at a trend level), and the semi-naturalistic PM trial, all of which were marked by omission errors. HD participants demonstrated comparable recognition memory for the PM intentions relative to controls. HD and control participants also showed comparable scores in self-reported PM complaints. The results suggest that HD is associated with deficits in the strategic aspects of PM. HD-associated PM deficits also are evident in real-world situations, which may relate to an apparent meta-memory deficit for PM functioning as indicated by HD participants’ overestimation of their PM performance on self-report. (JINS, 2014, 20, 1–8)

Corresponding author
Correspondence and reprint requests to: Paul Gilbert, SDSU-UCSD Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, 6363 Alvarado Court, Suite 103, San Diego, CA 92120. E-mail:
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