Vol 48, No 6 (2014)
Review Article

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Huntington Disease – Principles and practice of nutritional management

Wioletta Żukiewicz-Sobczak1, Renata Król2, Paula Wróblewska1, Jacek Piątek3, Magdalena Gibas-Dorna3
DOI: 10.1016/j.pjnns.2014.10.006
Neurol Neurochir Pol 2014;48(6):442-448.


Huntington disease (HD) is a degenerative brain disease clinically manifested by the characteristic triad: physical symptoms including involuntary movements and poor coordination, cognitive changes with less ability to organize routine tasks, and some emotional and behavioral disturbances. For patients with HD, feeding is one of the problems they have to face. People with HD often have lower than average body weight and struggle with malnutrition. As a part of therapy, good nutrition is an intervention maintaining health and functional ability for maximally prolonged time. In the early stages of HD, small amounts of blenderized foods given orally are recommended. In more advanced stages, enteral nutrition is essential using gastric, or jejunal tubes for short term. Most severe cases require gastrostomy or gastrojejunostomy. Although enteral feeding is well tolerated by most of the patients, a number of complications may occur, including damage to the nose, pharynx, or esophagus, aspiration pneumonia, sinusitis, metabolic imbalances due to improper nutrient and fluid supply, adverse effects affecting gastrointestinal system, and refeeding syndrome.

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Neurologia i Neurochirurgia Polska