Use of oral nutritional supplements in patients with Huntington's disease.Nutrition. 2005 Sep; 21(9):889-94.N
This study assessed the effect of oral nutritional supplements on the nutritional status of patients with Huntington's disease.
This was an experimental, longitudinal, prospective study of 30 patients with Huntington's disease. We performed neurologic evaluation and dietary assessment and measured anthropometric indexes and biochemical indicators; in addition, patients were questioned about their weight, appetite, chewing difficulty, and dysphagia. Patients consumed two cans daily of a nutritional supplement that contributed an extra 473 kcal to their diet for a 90-d period. At the study's end, the supplement was suspended and the same variables were reassessed.
After 90 d, 68.7% of patients had increased body weight, 68.7% had ideal body weight percentages and body mass indexes, 53.3% had increased midarm circumferences, and 60.0% had increased arm muscle circumferences and body fat percentages; these changes were statistically significant (P < 0.05). The neurologic evaluation subscales and the biochemical indicators did not change significantly. With regard to subjective variables, patients who reported losing weight during the 3 mo before the study did not lose more weight and patients who reported having an increased appetite before the study remained stable during the study.
The nutritional intervention stabilized or slightly improved the anthropometric variables assessed; however, no significant change in body mass index occurred in 87% of patients. For the purpose of maintaining an acceptable nutritional status in patients who have Huntington's disease and normal nutritional status, we suggest oral nutritional supplements that contribute an average of 473 kcal/d in addition to a normal diet.