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Exercise Rehabilitation Trial in Huntington’s Disease

Huntington's disease (HD) is an inherited neurological disease, which over time results in progressive problems with movement, thinking and behaviour, and ultimately difficulties in undertaking usual activities of daily living. It is known that keeping physically active is important for any person who has a chronic health condition. Additionally, there is a growing interest in the potential that aerobic exercise may have for brain health, particularly for people with degenerative diseases such as HD. However, engaging in regular exercise can be difficult for people with HD given the complex and varied problems that they face on a daily basis.

This randomised study aims to evaluate the feasibility (in terms of adherence, process and safety) and benefit of a supported, structured exercise intervention in people with early to mid stage HD.

People with HD who enrol in the study will be asked to attend two research assessments (focussing on physical fitness, movement, thinking and walking abilities) over a three-month period at their local HD clinics. After the first assessment, they will be allocated to either the exercise intervention group or the control group. If they are assigned to the intervention, exercise trainers will work with each participant on an individualised exercise programme, either in their home or at a community gym. The intervention will take place three times per week for 12 weeks and trainers will supervise the participant in just over half the sessions. The remainder of the sessions will be conducted by the participant independently, or with support of a carer or family member.



Study Type

Exploratory Phase II multi-centre randomised control trial


Jacques and Gloria Gossweiler Foundation


Open to recruitment


NISCHR - Neurodem and Primary Care

Chief Investigator:

Dr Lori Quinn

School of Healthcare Sciences

Cardiff University

Ty Dewi Sant Heath Park

Cardiff CF14 4XN


Dr Monica Busse

School of Healthcare Sciences

Cardiff University

Ty Dewi Sant, Heath Park

Cardiff CF14 4XN

Professor Helen Dawes

Movement Science Group

School of Life Sciences

Oxford Brookes University

Gipsy Lane Campus, Headington

Oxford OX3 0BP

Dr. Andrea Nemeth

Consultant and Honorary Senior Lecturer in Clinical Genetics

Clinical Genetics

Oxford Biomedical Research Centre (University of Oxford and Oxford Radcliffe NHS)

Dr. Hugh Rickards

Hon. Reader in Neuropsychiatry

Department of Neuropsychiatry

The Barberry

25 Vincent Drive, Edgbaston

Birmingham B15 2FG

Dr Ralf Reilmann

George-Huntington-Institute,Technology-Park - Deilmann Building IV, Johann-Krane-Weg 27, 48149 Münster, Germany

Dr Raymund Roos

Dept Neurology, LUMC, Leiden, The Netherlands

0031 71 526 2197

Professor Anne Rosser

Cardiff Schools of Biosciences and Medicine, Cardiff University, Biomedical Building, Museum Avenue

Cardiff CF10 3US

Ms Julia Townson

7th Floor Neuadd Meirionnydd, SEWTU, Heath Campus, Cardiff University

02920 687606


Dr. Mark Kelson

Room 410, 4th Floor Neuadd Meirionnydd, SEWTU, Heath Campus, Cardiff University

Trial co-ordinator

Ms. Katy Debono
Department of Physiotherapy, School of Healthcare Sciences
Ty Dewi Sant, Heath Park, Cardiff CF14 4XN

Contact information

Email address

Key data

Start date
Dec. 1, 2013
End date
Nov. 30, 2015
Grant value
£110, 170
General enquiries
Dr Monica Busse

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