Short-term effects of tetrabenazine on chorea associated with Huntington disease
We sought to assess the short-term clinical effects of tetrabenazine (TBZ) on choreic movements in Huntington's disease patients. A total of 10 patients on stable doses of TBZ were enrolled in this observational study. Patients took their evening dose of TBZ and presented the next day to the Baylor College of Medicine Movement Disorders Clinic without taking the usual morning dose. They were assessed using the Unified Huntington's Disease Rating Scale (UHDRS) motor assessment and Beck Depression Inventory. The usual morning dose of TBZ was then administered and patients were followed with serial UHDRS motor examinations approximately every 2 hours until choreic movements subsided and then returned. TBZ decreased the UHDRS chorea score on average 42.4% +/- 17.8%. The duration of effect varied from a minimum of 3.2 hours to a maximum of 8.1 hours (mean = 5.4 +/- 1.3). No patient experienced an adverse event related to TBZ or its withdrawal. During short-term follow-up after a single dose, TBZ improves chorea for approximately 5 hours.