Background: Biomarkers are needed to monitor disease progression, target engagement and efficacy in Huntington's disease (HD). Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is an ideal medium to research such biomarkers due to its proximity to the brain.
Objective: To investigate the safety and feasibility of research lumbar punctures (LP) in HD.
Methods: HDClarity is an ongoing international biofluid collection initiative built on the Enroll-HD platform, where clinical assessments are recorded. It aims to recruit 1,200 participants. Biosamples are collected following an overnight fast: blood via venipuncture and CSF via LP. Participants are healthy controls and HD gene expansion carriers across the disease spectrum. We report on monitored data from February 2016 to September 2019.
Results: Of 448 participants screened, 398 underwent at least 1 sampling visit, of which 98.24% were successful (i.e., CSF was collected), amounting to 10,610 mL of CSF and 8,200 mL of plasma. In the total 572 sampling visits, adverse events were reported in 24.13%, and headaches of any kind and post-LP headaches in 14.86% and 12.24%, respectively. Frequencies were less in manifest HD; gender, age, body mass index and disease burden score were not associated with the occurrence of the events in gene expansion carriers. Headaches and back pain were the most frequent adverse events.
Conclusion: HDClarity is the largest CSF collection initiative to support scientific research into HD and is now stablished as a leading resource for HD research. Our data confirm that research LP in HD are feasible and acceptable to the community, and have a manageable safety profile.
Keywords: Huntington’s disease; biomarkers; blood; cerebrospinal fluid; cohort studies; spinal puncture.