Psychiatry Grand Rounds 4/30| Katherine McDonell, MD

McDonell GR

12:00 noon CDT | via Zoom Webinar

"Neuropsychiatric Manifestations of Early Huntington Disease"

Dr. Katherine McDonell is an Assistant Professor of Neurology and a board-certified neurologist specializing in neurodegenerative disorders. Clinically, Dr. McDonell sees patients with cognitive and movement disorders including Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, Parkinson disease, and Huntington disease. She is a core faculty member of the Vanderbilt Level 1 Center of Excellence for Huntington disease and directs the predictive genetic testing program for Huntington Disease at Vanderbilt.

She received her undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis, graduating with honors in biology and philosophy-neuroscience-psychology. She earned her medical degree at Northwestern University and completed her residency training in neurology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, MA. She subsequently completed a fellowship in cognitive neurology and a Master of Science in Clinical Investigation at Vanderbilt. 

Dr. McDonell is interested in how neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease affect cognition and behavior. Her current research focuses on risky and impulsive behaviors in patients with early Huntington’s disease. Her lab is working on developing improved screening methods for these behaviors and using neuroimaging to identify underlying brain changes that may lead to them. Dr. McDonell is also involved in several clinical trials investigating new treatments for Huntington’s disease. 

For more information on Dr. McDonell’s research, please visit her lab website.



Dr. McDonell will review the neuropsychiatric features of Huntington disease (HD) and will discuss her work on impulsivity in early HD. She will also introduce the emerging view of HD as a neurodevelopmental disorder and discuss new initiatives to support children and young adults in our clinic. 


This activity is designed to help attendees:

  1. Identify common neuropsychiatric symptoms in Huntington disease (HD)
  2. Describe impulsive behaviors as a potential early marker of disease
  3. Discuss impacts of HD on youth and neurodevelopment

CME/CE credit for Psychiatry Grand Rounds is only available during the live feed time and for a brief time immediately following. The code for this week's session is displayed at the opening and closing of the meeting and also in the Chair's Office Zoom Account Name during the meeting.


For CME/CE information about this session, please visit:



The webinar can be viewed at the link below:

 Apr 30 Psychiatry Grand Rounds | McDonell

This talk is sponsored by the

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
This educational activity received no commercial support.


Grand Rounds Enrichment Discussion

For a deeper understanding of the topic ahead of Dr. McDonell's talk, please join Dr. Ariel Deutch on Wednesday April 28on Zoom as he delves a little deeper into the subject matter. Background article for discussion for this week can be found here: