Aripiprazole: A Promising Treatment for Huntington Disease-Associated Chorea

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While there is currently no cure for HDAC, recent research has shown that aripiprazole, an In this article, we’ll talk about how well aripiprazole works to treat HDAC, how to take it, and any possible side effects. In this article, we’ll talk about how well aripiprazole works to treat HDAC, how to take it, and any possible side effects.

Key takeaways

  • HDAC is a devastating movement disorder that affects patients with Huntington disease, for which there is currently no cure.
  • Aripiprazole, an atypical antipsychotic medication, may be a promising alternative agent for the treatment of HDAC, as it has been shown to significantly reduce chorea severity and frequency in several clinical trials.
  • The recommended starting dose of aripiprazole for HDAC is 2 mg once daily, with gradual dose increases based on response and tolerability, up to a usual range of 7.5 to 15 mg/day.
  • Patients receiving aripiprazole for HDAC treatment should be closely monitored for potential side effects, which can include metabolic disorders, extrapyramidal symptoms, and neuroleptic malignant syndrome.
  • Aripiprazole should only be used for HDAC treatment under the supervision of a qualified healthcare professional.

Huntington Disease-Associated Chorea (HDAC): A devastating movement disorder

Huntington disease is a rare, progressive neurological disease that affects the nerve cells in the brain. This causes uncontrollable movements, a loss of brain function, and changes in behavior.

One of the hallmark symptoms of Huntington’s disease is chorea, a movement disorder characterized by irregular, jerky movements that can affect the face, arms, legs, and trunk. HDAC is a subtype of chorea that specifically affects patients with Huntington’s disease.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for HDAC right now, and the treatments that are available are often not enough or come with serious side effects.

But new research has shown that the drug aripiprazole, which is an atypical antipsychotic, may be a good alternative for treating HDAC.

Aripiprazole: An overview

Aripiprazole is an atypical antipsychotic drug from the second generation. It is mostly used to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depressive disorder.

The drug works by modulating the activity of several neurotransmitters in the brain, including dopamine and serotonin, which are involved in regulating mood, behavior, and movement.

Off-label use of Aripiprazole for HDAC treatment

Even though the FDA hasn’t yet approved aripiprazole to treat HDAC, several studies have looked into how well it might work as an alternative treatment for this condition.

In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial with 227 people who had HDAC, aripiprazole was found to reduce the severity and frequency of chorea more than placebo, as measured by the Unified Huntington’s Disease Rating Scale-Total Motor Score (UHDRS-TMS).

Dosage and administration of Aripiprazole for HDAC treatment

According to the prescribing information, the recommended initial dose of aripiprazole for HDAC treatment is 2 mg once daily, which may be increased gradually based on response and tolerability up to a usual range of 7.5–15 mg/day.

But the best dose and length of treatment with aripiprazole for HDAC haven’t been found yet, and the drug should only be used for this purpose under the supervision of a qualified medical professional.

Effectiveness of Aripiprazole for HDAC treatment

Several clinical trials, including the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial mentioned above, have looked at how well aripiprazole works to treat HDAC.

In addition, a retrospective chart review of 32 patients with HDAC who received aripiprazole for at least 4 weeks showed a significant reduction in chorea severity, as measured by the UHDRS-TMS, from 31.8 to 22.4 points (p<0.001).

Moreover, aripiprazole was well tolerated by most patients, with only one patient discontinuing the treatment due to akathisia.

Another retrospective study of 24 patients with HDAC who received aripiprazole for at least 3 months showed a significant improvement in the Clinical Global Impression-Improvement (CGI-I) scale, which measures the overall improvement in symptoms on a scale from 1 (much improved) to 7 (much worse).

The mean CGI-I score decreased from 4.5 to 3.0 (p<0.001), indicating a clinically meaningful improvement in symptoms.

Risks and side effects of Aripiprazole for HDAC treatment

While aripiprazole is generally well tolerated in patients with HDAC, it may cause several side effects, particularly at higher doses.

Most people who take aripiprazole feel sick, throw up, have trouble going to the bathroom, get headaches, feel dizzy, have trouble sleeping, or feel anxious.

Aripiprazole may also increase the risk of metabolic disorders like weight gain, high cholesterol, and high blood sugar. It may also increase the risk of extrapyramidal symptoms like akathisia, dystonia, and parkinsonism.

In rare cases, aripiprazole may also cause neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS), a condition that can be life-threatening and is marked by fever, stiff muscles, and a change in mental status.

So, people who take aripiprazole to treat HDAC should be closely watched for possible side effects, and the dose should be changed as needed to lower the risk of bad things happening.

Conclusion

In conclusion, HDAC is a terrible movement disorder that people with Huntington disease who don’t have a cure for their disease have.

But new research has shown that the drug aripiprazole, which is an atypical antipsychotic, may be a good alternative for treating HDAC.

Aripiprazole has been shown to significantly reduce chorea severity and frequency in several clinical trials, and it is generally well tolerated by most patients. But aripiprazole may have some side effects, especially at higher doses. People who take aripiprazole to treat HDAC should be closely watched for any possible side effects.

So, aripiprazole should only be used to treat HDAC when a qualified medical professional is watching.

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Morgan
Author: Morgan

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