A 6-month randomized, placebo-controlled pilot study of the ethyl-ester of eicosapentaenoic acid (ethyl-EPA) was carried out in seven in-patients with advanced (stage III) Huntington's disease (three on ethyl-EPA, four on placebo; no significant difference in age or sex between the groups). After 6 months all the patients treated with ethyl-EPA improved on the orofacial component of the Unified Huntington's Disease Rating Scale while all the patients on placebo deteriorated on this scale (p <0.03). Following subvoxel registration of follow-up 3D MRI brain scans with baseline scans, subtraction images showed that while the placebo was associated with progressive cerebral atrophy, the ethyl-EPA was associated with a reverse process. We conclude that treatment with ethyl-EPA is associated with beneficial motor and MRI changes.
Magnetic Resonance Unit, MRC Clinical Sciences Centre, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College, Hammersmith Hospital, Du Cane Road, London W12 0HS
1Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham Mental Health NHS Trust and Imperial College School of Medicine, London, UK
2Department of Psychiatry, Monash Medical Centre, Clayton, Australia
3Laxdale Research, Stirling, UK
Corresponding Author: Basant K. Puri
Received 24 October 2001 accepted 14 November 2001