Preliminary evidence suggests that exercise and physical activity can help people with Huntington’s disease (HD) with motor function, gait speed, and balance, according to a recent review of studies co-authored by Lori Quinn, Associate Professor of Movement Science & Kinesiology, and Director of Teachers College's Neurorehabilitation Research Lab. Published in The Journal of Huntington’s Disease, the review also suggests that exercise and physical activity offer HD patients a range other physical and social benefits,
Quinn and her colleagues reviewed 18 quantitative studies published between 2003 and 2016, spanning a wide range of outcome measures for physical and cognitive function, and two qualitative studies that reported patient and family perceptions of the interventions.
“Exercise and physical therapy are important interventions that should be considered as primary intervention strategies in all patients with HD,” says Quinn. “These interventions have the potential to not only improve daily activity performance, function, and quality of life, but also to meaningfully impact disease progression.”