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M18 Case report: effectiveness of a physiotherapy led exercise programme for a person in the late stage of huntington’s disease
  1. Susan O’Neill1,
  2. Andrea Higgins1,2,
  3. Jennifer Hoblyn1,3
  1. 1Bloomfield Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
  2. 2University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
  3. 3Trinity College Dublin, College Green, Dublin, Ireland


Background Huntington’s disease (HD) can be classified into early, middle and late stages based on their Total Functional Capacity Score as defined by Shoulson and Fahn (1979). Recent research has evidenced the benefit of physiotherapy led exercise programmes for HD cohorts in the early to middle stages of the disease. Research investigating the effects of exercise based interventions for late stage HD cohorts is limited. This limitation may be associated with advancing motor, cognitive and psychiatric symptoms which can act as barriers to meaningful engagement.

Case history This case study describes a 41 year old male in the late stage of HD residing at a specialist long term care centre. The participant engaged in an exercise programme specifically tailored for his level of ability. The programme contained a combination of aerobic and resistance exercise, functional training and balance training. Assessment of motor, functional and cognitive abilities was performed pre and post intervention using assessment tools appropriate to his level of cognitive and motor functioning.

Conclusion This case report examines the effects of a physiotherapy led exercise based intervention designed for a resident in the late stages of HD living in a specialist long term care setting. Results are discussed in the context of the motor, cognitive and psychiatric factors which influenced the outcomes of the intervention.

  • Physiotherapy
  • Late stage Huntington’s Disease
  • Clinical Case Report

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