AAN: New guideline on how to best treat involuntary movements in Huntington's disease

July 18, 2012

A new guideline released by the American Academy of Neurology recommends several treatments for people with Huntington's disease who experience chorea—jerky, random, uncontrollable movements that can make everyday activities challenging. The guideline is published in the July 18, 2012, online issue of Neurology.

"Chorea can be disabling, worsen weight loss and increase the risk of falling," said guideline lead author Melissa Armstrong, MD, MSc, with the University of Maryland Department of and a member of the American Academy of Neurology.

is a complex disease with physical, cognitive and behavioral symptoms. The new guideline addresses only one aspect of the disease that may require treatment.

The guideline found that the drugs tetrabenazine (TBZ), riluzole and amantadine can be helpful and the nabilone may also be considered to treat chorea. The medications riluzole, amantadine and nabilone are not often prescribed for Huntington's disease.

"People with Huntington's disease who have chorea should discuss with their doctors whether treating chorea is a priority. Huntington's disease is complex with a wide range of sometimes severe symptoms and treating other may be a higher priority than treating chorea," said Armstrong.

Armstrong adds that it is important for patients to understand that their doctors may try drugs not recommended in this guideline to treat chorea. More research is needed to know if drugs such as those used for psychosis are effective; however, doctors may prescribe them on the basis of past clinical experience.

Explore further: AAN issues new guideline on best treatments for diabetic nerve pain

More information: Learn more about the guideline at www.aan.com/guidelines or Huntington's disease at www.aan.com/patients

Related Stories

AAN releases updated guideline for treating essential tremor

October 19, 2011

The American Academy of Neurology is releasing an updated guideline on how to best treat essential tremor, which is the most common type of tremor disorder and is often confused with other movement disorders such as Parkinson's ...

Recommended for you

Wiring rules untangle brain circuitry

December 1, 2015

Our brains contain billions of neurons linked through trillions of synaptic connections, and although disentangling this wiring may seem like mission impossible, a research team from Baylor College of Medicine took on the ...

Can physical exercise enhance long-term memory?

November 25, 2015

Exercise can enhance the development of new brain cells in the adult brain, a process called adult neurogenesis. These newborn brain cells play an important role in learning and memory. A new study has determined that mice ...

New insights on how cocaine changes the brain

November 25, 2015

The burst of energy and hyperactivity that comes with a cocaine high is a rather accurate reflection of what's going on in the brain of its users, finds a study published November 25 in Cell Reports. Through experiments conducted ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.