An MDS Evidence-Based Review on Treatments for Huntington's Disease

Joaquim J. Ferreira, Filipe B. Rodrigues, Gonçalo S. Duarte, Tiago A. Mestre, Anne Catherine Bachoud-Levi, Anna Rita Bentivoglio, Jean Marc Burgunder, Francisco Cardoso, Daniel O. Claassen, G. Bernard Landwehrmeyer, Jaime Kulisevsky, Melissa J. Nirenberg, Anne Rosser, Jan Roth, Klaus Seppi, Jaroslaw Slawek, Erin Furr-Stimming, Sarah J. Tabrizi, Francis O. Walker, Wim VandenbergheJoão Costa, Cristina Sampaio

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Background: Huntington's disease (HD) is a rare neurodegenerative disorder with protean clinical manifestations. Its management is challenging, consisting mainly of off-label treatments. Objectives: The International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society commissioned a task force to review and evaluate the evidence of available therapies for HD gene expansion carriers. Methods: We followed the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach. Eligible randomized controlled trials were identified via an electronic search of the CENTRAL, MEDLINE, and EMBASE databases. All eligible trials that evaluated one or more of 33 predetermined clinical questions were included. Risk of bias was evaluated using the Cochrane Risk of Bias tool. A framework was adapted to allow for efficacy and safety conclusions to be drawn from the balance between the GRADE level of evidence and the importance of the benefit/harm of the intervention. Results: Twenty-two eligible studies involving 17 interventions were included, providing data to address 8 clinical questions. These data supported a likely effect of deutetrabenazine on motor impairment, chorea, and dystonia and of tetrabenazine on chorea. The data did not support a disease-modifying effect for premanifest and manifest HD. There was no eligible evidence to support the use of specific treatments for depression, psychosis, irritability, apathy, or suicidality. Similarly, no evidence was eligible to support the use of physiotherapy, occupational therapy, exercise, dietary, or surgical treatments. Conclusions: Data for therapeutic interventions in HD are limited and support only the use of VMAT2 inhibitors for specific motor symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-35
Number of pages11
JournalMovement Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022


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