Background and purpose: Despite advances in the understanding of Huntington's disease (HD), treatment remains symptomatic. Multidisciplinary rehabilitation, however, appears to impact disease progression. Here we show the feasibility, safety and efficacy of a 9-month multidisciplinary rehabilitation programme in a small cohort of patients with early-to-middle-stage HD.
Methods: Twenty patients with HD were assigned to two groups, equally matched for cognitive and motor scores. One group received the intervention, whilst the other served as control. The Unified-Huntington's-Disease-Rating-Scale-Total-Motor-Score was the primary outcome measure. Neurocognitive/psychological tests, body composition, postural stability, strength and quality of life assessments were secondary outcome measures.
Results: The intervention reduced motor and postural stability deterioration, with minor improvements in depression, cognition and quality of life. Significant gains were observed for fat-free mass and strength.
Conclusion: This pilot study suggests that a prolonged multidisciplinary rehabilitation programme in early-to-middle-stage HD is feasible, well-tolerated and associated with therapeutic benefit. Further explorative, larger studies are warranted.
Keywords: chorea; exercise therapy; neurodegenerative; occupational therapy; resistance training.
© 2012 The Author(s) European Journal of Neurology © 2012 EFNS.