A relative seems to have symptons of HD, but does not seems to recognize many of them. The dr. referred to this by using a French term "LaBelle Difference" . I'm unceretain of this spelling. Has anyone heard of this term before?
The literal translation is "the beautiful difference". In this context he might have meant that not recognizing symptoms is a "distinguishing characteristic" of the disease. Sounds like kind of a snotty doctor to me.
Yes, I have heard of it and it's an incorrect use of the term.
There's a psychological disorder called conversion hysteria. This is where psychological symptoms manifest themselves or are 'converted' to a physical problem that doesn't have a real organic cause. For example, someone may experience anxiety or conflicts and wake up and be blind or deaf or paralyzed in some way without a physical reason. In that case, doctors will be unable to find any organic damage to the affected areas and the patient will also exhibit a curious lack of concern about the symptom. If I woke up unable to see, I'd be panicked and so would you! But these patients are quite calm about their difficulties. This lack of concern is called 'la belle difference.'
The appropriate term is anosognosia -- an impaired awareness of one's disease which is caused by damage to the brain.