Comparing Risperidone and Olanzapine to Tetrabenazine for the Management of Chorea in Huntington Disease: An Analysis from the Enroll-HD Database

Mov Disord Clin Pract. 2018 Nov 30;6(2):132-138. doi: 10.1002/mdc3.12706. eCollection 2019 Feb.


Introduction: Huntington's chorea (HC) is commonly managed with neuroleptic medications, though there is little evidence to support their use. This study aimed to perform a real-world comparison of the efficacy of risperidone and olanzapine to tetrabenazine (TBZ) for HC.

Methods: The Enroll-HD database was used to perform a propensity score-matched comparison of risperidone and olanzapine to TBZ, regarding their efficacy in controlling chorea. Participants with motor manifest Huntington's disease (HD) were grouped according to their use of risperidone, olanzapine, or TBZ. For the three groups, independent propensity score matching was performed on participants' baseline total functional score (TFC), baseline total motor score (TMS), disease burden score, CAG repeat length, baseline age, region, sex, and body mass index. Independent samples t test was used to calculate the differences between the groups in the annual rate of change of the TMS from the baseline to the second available visit.

Results: The risperidone (n = 72) and olanzapine groups (n = 77) had annualized increases (worsening) in the TMS of only 1.47 points and 3.20 points, respectively, compared to 5.70 points in the two matched TBZ groups (n = 72) (P = 0.019) and (n = 77) (P = 0.143), respectively.

Conclusions: In the absence of prospective data, this analysis of the Enroll-HD database found that the neuroleptics risperidone and olanzapine seemed to at least be comparable to TBZ at controlling HC. These results demonstrate that neuroleptics may have comparable efficacy to TBZ for the treatment of HC. Further prospective studies are needed to confirm these findings.

Keywords: Enroll‐HD; Huntington's disease; chorea; olanzapine; risperidone; tetrabenazine.