Background Huntington’s disease (HD) is an autosomal dominant, inherited; neurodegenerative condition that classically constitutes a disorder of movement, cognition, and behaviour. Patients with HD may present a variety of movement disorders, with the most common being chorea, but also rigidity which characteristic of juvenile HD. There is no cure for HD and treatment has focused on symptomatic aspects of HD.
Aim To review the treatment used to address the rigidity problem in HD.
Method A review of the literature was conducted through E-library of University of Birmingham with the purpose of identifying key articles in English language. The search terms “treatment”/”medication” AND “rigidity” AND “Huntington’s disease” were used. The search strategy also included searching by hand of personally selected literature.
Results A total of 279 results were found of which 29 articles were identified. A large number of results were removed from analysis because they were duplicate or irrelevant.
Discussion Muscle relaxants such as Baclofen and Tizanidine have been tried to treat patients with rigidity in HD. There is some evidence supporting the use of Dopaminergic Drugs (levodopa, pramipexole and cabergoline) and Amantadine to treat rigidity in HD. Botulinum toxin A (BTA) might be also of value to patients with akinetic-rigid variant of HD.
Conclusion The majority of studies focused on treating chorea in HD. However, very few studies investigated the treatment of rigidity in HD. More studies should be conducted to address the rigidity in HD in order to optimise the quality of life for patients and caregivers.
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