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Neurology. 2012 Aug 7;79(6):597-603. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e318263c443. Epub 2012 Jul 18.

Evidence-based guideline: pharmacologic treatment of chorea in Huntington disease: report of the guideline development subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD, USA.



To develop an evidence-based guideline assessing pharmacologic options for treating Huntington disease (HD) chorea.


We evaluated available evidence from a structured literature review performed through February 2011.


If HD chorea requires treatment, clinicians should prescribe tetrabenazine (up to 100 mg/day), amantadine (300-400 mg/day), or riluzole (200 mg/day) (Level B) for varying degrees of expected benefit. Occurrence of adverse events should be discussed and monitored, particularly depression/suicidality and parkinsonism with tetrabenazine and elevated liver enzymes with riluzole. Clinicians may also prescribe nabilone for modest decreases (1- to <2-point changes on the Unified Huntington's Disease Rating Scale [UHDRS] chorea score) in HD chorea (Level C), but information is insufficient to recommend long-term use, particularly given abuse potential concerns (Level U). Clinicians should not prescribe riluzole 100 mg/day for moderate (2- to < 3-point UHDRS chorea change) short-term benefits (Level B) or for any long-term (3-year) HD antichoreic goals (Level B). Clinicians may choose not to prescribe ethyl-EPA (Level B), minocycline (Level B), or creatine (Level C) for very important improvements (>3-point UHDRS chorea change) in HD chorea. Clinicians may choose not to prescribe coenzyme Q10 (Level B) for moderate improvements in HD chorea. Data are insufficient to make recommendations regarding the use of neuroleptics or donepezil for HD chorea treatment (Level U).

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