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Keywords:

  • premanifest Huntington's disease;
  • mitochondria;
  • liver;
  • methionine

ABSTRACT

Background

A subclinical, hepatic involvement in manifest and premanifest Huntington's disease (HD) was recently demonstrated by using the 13C-methionine breath test (MeBT). In this longitudinal pilot study, we investigated whether there is evidence for progressive hepatic mitochondrial dysfunction in premanifest HD.

Methods

The MeBT was performed within a group of 25 well-characterized premanifest HD mutation carriers at baseline and in a 14.5-month follow-up.

Results

The total group of mutation carriers (P = 0.033; Cohen's d = 0.6) and the subgroup of mutation carriers from our PreHD-B subgroup (nearer to disease onset; P = 0.030; Cohen's d = 1.12) revealed a lower amount of exhaled 13CO2 in the follow-up.

Conclusions

This study demonstrates in vivo progressive, subclinical, hepatic involvement in premanifest HD. Limitations of the study, such as high variance in breath test results, are discussed. &copy 2014 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society © 2014 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society