We prospectively evaluated 129 patients with manifest Huntington's disease (HD) to determine the rate of illness progression and the clinical features that correlate with functional decline. A single examiner evaluated each patient using the HD Functional Capacity Scale. Standardized motor performance was also assessed in 94 of the patients (73%) using the HD Rating Scale. Total Functional Capacity declined at a rate of 0.63 +/- 0.75 U per year. As functional capacity worsened, chorea lessened, and dystonia intensified. There was no correlation between rate of functional decline and age at onset of HD, body weight, gender of affected parent, or history of neuroleptic use.