The effects of multidisciplinary rehabilitation in patients with early-to-middle-stage Huntington's disease: a pilot study.
Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science
School of Medical Sciences
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. Methods: 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. Results: 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. Conclusion: 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.