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Olanzapine in Huntington's disease

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Objectives– To study the effect of olanzapine (OL) in Huntington's disease (HD) patients. Design and methods– Eleven HD patients (five men), aged 47.6 ± 11.4 years and with disease duration of 11.2 ± 3.3 years received OL. Assessment was carried out using the Clinical Global Impression of Change Scale (CGIC) and the Unified Huntington's Disease Rating Scale behavioral (UHDRS – b) and motor (UHDRS – m) at 6 month intervals. Results– Nine patients were treated for 9.8 ± 5.9 months. The mean OL dose/patient was 11.4 ± 8.5 mg/day (median 10 mg/day). Mean CGIC was 2.1 ± 0.8. UHDRS – b improved significantly (P < 0.0001) and UHDRS – m did not change. Chorea improved in five patients and two dropped out because of drug eruption and lack of efficacy. Conclusion– OL is a good alternative treatment in HD, mainly for the psychiatric symptoms and moderately effective for the motor symptoms, possibly because of its effect on chorea. We suggest OL should be used in HD patients with the adult onset form, severe chorea and/or severe psychiatric disturbances.

Keywords: Huntington's disease; olanzapine; treatment

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Neurological Service and Memory Clinic, Abarbanel Mental Health Center, Keren Kayemet, Bat Yam, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel, 2: Movement Disorders Unit, Department of Neurology, Tel Aviv Medical Center, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel

Publication date: June 1, 2002


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