Background/aims To assess the prevalence of non-motor symptoms (NMS) in Huntington’s disease (HD) and compare it with a cohort of patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD)
Materials and Methods Patients were consecutively recruited from the outpatient clinic. They were assessed through the motor part of the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS-III), the motor part of the Unified Huntington’s Disease Rating Scale (UHDRS-motor) and the Total Functional Capacity (TFC). Non-motor symptoms were evaluated using the PD non-motor symptoms quest (NMSQuest) in both HD and PD patients.
Results We enrolled 123 participants: 53 HD, 45 PD and 25 healthy controls (HC). NMS were significantly more prevalent in HD patients than in HC. The most frequent NMS in HD were attentional deficits (73.58%), apathy (64.15%), dysphagia (62.26%), memory complaints (62.26%), depression (56.60%) and falls, insomnia and urinary urgency (50.94%). There was not statistical difference in the total score of NMS between early (1–2) vs. advanced stages (>3). Only dysphagia and memory complaints were more prevalent in the latter. The total score of the NMS was higher in HD than in PD (p=0.025) even though the duration of the disease was similar in both groups. HD scored significantly more than PD in 11 items (dysphagia, constipation, fecal incontinence, fecal tenesmus, weight loss, memory, apathy, attention, falls, nightmares, illusions).
Conclusions Patients with HD have a high prevalence of non-motor symptoms compared with HC. There is little difference between initial and advanced stages. The prevalence of non-motor symptoms is higher in HD than in PD.
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