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Version 2. PLoS Curr. 2012 Jan 30 [revised 2012 Feb 2];4:RRN1293.

Aspiration pneumonia and death in Huntington's disease.

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Researcher and Speech and Language Pathologist (SLP) at LUMC, dept. Neurology, Leiden, The Netherlands and LUMC, Leiden, The Netherlands.


Huntington's disease (HD) is a progressive neurodegenerative autosomal dominant disease characterized by choreatic and hypokinetic movements, disturbed behaviour, and cognitive decline. Pneumonia is the most common cause of death, followed by cardiovasculair diseases. It has been suggested that choking is the causative underlying factor for pneumonia in HD. As a detailed specification of the type of pneumonia has never been performed, we analyzed the records of our Brain Bank containing 224 cases to determine the exact cause of death and type of pneumonia. The conclusion is that the majority (86.8%) of our HD patients where the cause of death could be identified died from aspiration pneumonia.

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