Article Text

Download PDFPDF
J17 HD-DRUM – a novel computerised drumming training for movement and cognitive abilities in people with Huntington’s disease – app development and protocol of a randomised controlled feasibility study
  1. Claudia Metzler-Baddeley1,
  2. Monica E Busse2,
  3. Cheney JG Drew2,
  4. Philip Pallmann2,
  5. Derek K Jones1,
  6. Anne E Rosser3,4
  1. 1Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC), School of Psychology, Cardiff University, Maindy Road, Cathays, Cardiff, UK
  2. 2Centre for Trials Research (CTR), Cardiff University, Heath Park, Cardiff, UK
  3. 3School of Biosciences, Cardiff University, Museum Avenue, Cardiff, UK
  4. 4Department of Neurology and Psychological Medicine, Hadyen Ellis Building, Cardiff, UK


Background Huntington’s Disease (HD) causes cell loss in the basal ganglia (BG) that are important for cognitive and motor functions. Learning novel drumming sequences requires BG abilities of attention, multi-tasking, and the planning and execution of motor sequences, all of which are affected in HD. Previously, we observed that rhythmic Bongo drumming improved attention and motor abilities and strengthened callosal white matter pathways in people with HD.

Aims To assess the feasibility of HD-DRUM, a novel computerised drumming training app that optimises the training difficulty for each user with an automatic stair-case procedure. To obtain estimates of effects of HD-DRUM on cognitive and motor abilities and on white and grey matter microstructure in motor and executive networks of the brain.

Methods We will assess the feasibility (recruitment, retention, acceptability, adherence) of three months of HD-DRUM (15 min per day, 5 days a week) in 50 people with HD at premanifest to mild-moderate manifest stages recruited from five clinics in the UK. They will be randomly allocated to the training or a standard-care control group. Further, 25 healthy control participants will be recruited who will also use HD-DRUM. All participants will undergo cognitive and motor assessment (ENROLL protocol) and magnetic resonance imaging of the brain with diffusion-weighted and quantitative magnetization transfer imaging at the beginning and the end of the study.

Anticipated Outcomes If feasible, HD-DRUM may provide a remotely accessible training tool to help improve motor and cognitive symptoms in HD without the risk of harmful side-effects in the future.

  • Drumming app
  • feasibility
  • cognition
  • motor function
  • brain microstructure

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.