A pilot study using nabilone for symptomatic treatment in Huntington's disease

Authors

  • Adrienne Curtis BSC,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Neuropsychiatry, Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust, Edgbaston, Birmingham, United Kingdom
    • Department of Neuropsychiatry, The Barberry, 25 Vincent Drive, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2FG, United Kingdom
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  • Ian Mitchell DPhil,

    1. University of Birmingham School of Psychology, Edgbaston, Birmingham, United Kingdom
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  • Smitaa Patel MSc,

    1. University of Birmingham Clinical Trials Unit, Division of Medical Sciences, Robert Aitken Institute, Edgbaston, Birmingham, United Kingdom
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  • Natalie Ives MSc,

    1. University of Birmingham Clinical Trials Unit, Division of Medical Sciences, Robert Aitken Institute, Edgbaston, Birmingham, United Kingdom
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  • Hugh Rickards MRPsych

    1. Department of Neuropsychiatry, Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust, Edgbaston, Birmingham, United Kingdom
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  • Potential conflict of interest: Nothing to report.

Abstract

Pilot study of nabilone in Huntington's disease (HD). Double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study of nabilone versus placebo. Primary outcome, Unified Huntington's Disease Rating Scale (UHDRS) total motor score. Secondary measures: UHDRS subsections for chorea, cognition and behavior, and neuropsychiatric inventory (NPI). 44 randomized patients received either nabilone (1 or 2 mg) followed by placebo (n = 22), or placebo followed by nabilone (n = 22). Recruiting was straightforward. Nabilone safe and well tolerated, no psychotic episodes. Assessment of either dose of nabilone versus placebo showed a treatment difference of 0.86 (95% CI: −1.8 to 3.52) for total motor score; 1.68 (95% CI: 0.44 to 2.92) for chorea; 3.57 (95% CI: −3.41 to 10.55) for UHDRS cognition; 4.01 (95% CI: −0.11 to 8.13) for UHDRS behavior, and 6.43 (95% CI: 0.2 to 12.66) for the NPI. Larger longer RCT of nabilone in HD is feasible and warranted. © 2009 Movement Disorder Society

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