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M12 A randomised, controlled trial of a 12 week multi-modal exercise intervention in huntington’s disease
  1. Lori Quinn1,2,
  2. Katy Hamana1,
  3. Mark Kelson3,
  4. Helen Dawes4,
  5. Jonathan Collett4,
  6. Julia Townson3,
  7. Raymund Roos5,
  8. Anne van der Plas5,
  9. Ralf Reilmann6,7,8,
  10. Jan Frich9,10,
  11. Hugh Rickards11,
  12. Anne Rosser12,
  13. Monica Busse1,3
  1. 1School of Healthcare Sciences, Cardiff University, UK
  2. 2Department of Biobehavioral Sciences, Teachers College, Columbia University, USA
  3. 3South East Wales Trials Unit, Centre for Trials Research, Cardiff University, UK
  4. 4Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Oxford Brookes University, UK
  5. 5Leiden University Medical Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands
  6. 6George-Huntington-Institute, Münster,Germany
  7. 7Department of Radiology, University of Münster, Münster, Germany
  8. 8Department of Neurodegenerative Diseases and Hertie-Institute for Clinical Brain Research, University of Tuebingen, Germany
  9. 9Vikersund Kurbad AS, Vikersund, Norway
  10. 10Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo, Norway
  11. 11Institute of Clinical Sciences, University of Birmingham, UK
  12. 12Schools of Medicine and Biosciences, Cardiff University, UK


Background This study aimed to evaluate the feasibility and benefit of a structured exercise intervention in people with Huntington’s disease (HD).

Methods This study was conducted at 6 sites, and participants were randomised into either exercise or control (usual care) groups, and were assessed at baseline, 13 and 26 weeks. The intervention was 12 weeks, three times per week progressive exercise program, including aerobic (stationary cycling) and upper and lower body strengthening exercise with tapered 1:1 support for 20 of 36 sessions. The trial was registered (Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN11392629).

Results 314 adults were assessed for eligibility: 248 did not meet inclusion criteria, 34 declined, and 32 were recruited and randomised. Three individuals in the intervention group were withdrawn within the first month due to concomitant medical conditions, resulting in 14 participants in intervention and 15 in control groups. There were two AEs in the intervention group, both related to previous medical conditions, and there were two SAEs, both in the control group. The intervention group had statistically significantly better fitness (predicted VO2 max difference: 493.3 ml.min-1, 95% CI: [97.1, 887.6]), lower UHDRS mMS (difference 2.9 points, 95% [−5.42, −0.32]) and lower weight at Week 13 (difference 2.25 kg, 95% CI: [−4.47, −0.03]).

Conclusions This study demonstrates that a short-term exercise intervention is safe and feasible. Individuals with HD may benefit from structured exercise, and intensity, monitoring and support may be key factors in optimising response. Larger scale trials are now required to fully elucidate the extended clinical potential of exercise in HD. This trial was funded by The Jacques and Gloria Gossweiler Foundation.

  • exercise
  • rehabilitation
  • aerobic exercise
  • strength training
  • physical therapy

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