In a previous short-term study, rivastigmine has shown a mild effect in ameliorating cognitive impairment and slowing motor deterioration in patients affected by Huntington disease (HD). The aim of the present study was to assess the long-term efficacy of rivastigmine on motor and cognitive impairment in HD patients.
This was an open-label, controlled study with blinded rates: 11 HD patients were evaluated after 2 years under 6 mg rivastigmine treatment versus 6 patients sorted as controls. In basal conditions and after 2 years' follow-up, patients were submitted to the Mini-Mental State Examination, Marsden and Quinn Chorea Severity Scale, Total Functional Capacity score, Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale, and the motor and functional section of the Unified Huntington Disease Rating Scale.
Patients treated with rivastigmine showed a significant improvement of global motor performances and chorea in comparison with the control group, with a trend toward a reduction of functional disability and cognitive impairment.
On the basis of the long-term follow-up of HD patients, rivastigmine exerted a significant improvement of motor performances with a positive trend on cognitive and functional scales. The results of this study suggest long-term efficacy of rivastigmine in HD, which needs to be confirmed in larger series.