Background Physical therapy is advisable for Huntington’s disease. We offer myofunctional and motor coordination therapy, body awareness therapy and equine therapy. It seems that there’s an improvement of awareness of voluntary movement but it’s difficult to objectify.
Aims We are developing a scale that includes 9 items trained in physical therapy. We describe preliminary results.
Methods Items assess stability sitting on a chair, stability sitting on the floor, ability to get up safely from the floor, one-leg balance, sagittal balance, step quality, trajectory deviation, tandem gait, and drawing a circle in the air in the 3 planes of space. Total score ranges from 0 to 45. Motor, functional and cognitive assessments are reported.
Results The scale has been applied to 11 patients. Their scores range from 20 to 42. Early HD (n = 1) scored 42 (one-leg balance and tandem gait were affected). Mid HD (n = 6) scored from 32 to 41 (one-leg balance, tandem gait, sagittal balance, step quality, and/or drawing a circle in the air were affected). Mid-late HD (n = 3) scored from 20 to 28 (besides previous items, get up safely from the floor, stability sitting on a chair, stability sitting on the floor, and/or trajectory deviation were affected). Up to now, we have applied the scale to 6 patients once they have completed the scheduled program: 4 patients (early and mid HD) improved at least 1 of the following items: one-leg balance, tandem gait, sagittal balance, step quality and drawing a circle in the air; 1 patient (mid-late HD) remained stable, and 1 (mid HD) worsened his one-leg balance.
Conclusions We are aware that this sample is very small to obtain conclusions. There are some items that seem to improve after physical therapy. This study is open and we are willing to recruit more participants in order to assess if the scale could be sensitive enough to detect a change and to analyse if there’s correlation with well-validated scales.
- physical therapy
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