The effects of multidisciplinary rehabilitation in patients with early-to-middle-stage Huntington's disease: a pilot study
Background and purpose
Despite advances in the understanding of Huntington's disease (HD), treatment remains symptomatic. Multidisciplinary rehabilitation, however, appears to impact disease progression. Here we show the feasibility, safety and efficacy of a 9-month multidisciplinary rehabilitation programme in a small cohort of patients with early-to-middle-stage HD.
Twenty patients with HD were assigned to two groups, equally matched for cognitive and motor scores. One group received the intervention, whilst the other served as control. The Unified-Huntington's-Disease-Rating-Scale-Total-Motor-Score was the primary outcome measure. Neurocognitive/psychological tests, body composition, postural stability, strength and quality of life assessments were secondary outcome measures.
The intervention reduced motor and postural stability deterioration, with minor improvements in depression, cognition and quality of life. Significant gains were observed for fat-free mass and strength.
This pilot study suggests that a prolonged multidisciplinary rehabilitation programme in early-to-middle-stage HD is feasible, well-tolerated and associated with therapeutic benefit. Further explorative, larger studies are warranted.