Background With the complexity of symptoms of Huntington's disease (HD), its neurological and mental impairments, it is quite difficult to measure the effects of rehabilitative treatment. As part of our day care rehabilitation programme, we have pursued the question of whether the motor and cognitive scales of the Unified Huntington's Disease Rating Scale (UHDRS) and other scales used in the REGISTRY Study can be used to detect the effects of rehabilitation of HD patients.
Methods and patients By April 2010, 23 HD patients (10 women, 13 men) completed the rehabilitation programme. In one patient the final evaluation could not be performed due to organisational reasons, and one patient died of pneumonia before the end of rehabilitation (she also suffered from kidney and heart failure). At the beginning and on completion of rehabilitation, Huntington's patients are examined with the tests of the REGISTRY study. To capture mood changes, we used the Beck Depression Inventory and Hamilton Depression Scale, the competence in daily living was scored with TFC, Function Score and Independence Scale.
Results The basic data are presented in table 1 and the changes after rehabilitation in table 2. We were able to show positive effects on motor function and cognitive performance; there was a tendency to improved mood in the self-report questionnaire BDI. No treatment benefit could be achieved when the mood of the patient worsened - usually caused by a lack of funding for continuation of the therapy or if institutionalisation of the patient was unavoidable.
Conclusions Motor and cognitive UHDRS scales and the other scales used in the REGISTRY are suitable to quantify the changes in the course of a rehabilitation programme. Significant positive effects of an adequate rehabilitation programme for HD patients on motor function, cognition and mood could thus be demonstrated.
- motor score
- cognitive score