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Huntington’s Disease (HD) Respiratory Function Study

Researchers

  • Dr. Monica Busse
  • Una Jones
  • Dr. Stephanie Enright
  • Prof. Ann Rosser (School of Medicine (Neurology), Cardiff University and Brain Repair Group, School of Biosciences, Cardiff University)

People with HD may get pneumonia during the later stages of the disease, which may lead to death. The pneumonia may be due to difficulties in swallowing and/or a decline in respiratory function. Little is known about the functioning of the respiratory system throughout the progression of the disease and this research aims to investigate whether respiratory function in people with HD is different to respiratory function in healthy control subjects. The research also aims to investigate other factors that may affect and be affected by the respiratory system. Other factors include posture, ability to walk and ability to carry out activities of daily living. The research will also investigate how people with HD and their carers think about any respiratory problems that the person with HD may have. The study will involve people with and without HD who will have an assessment of their respiratory function. People with HD will also be assessed in their ability to carry out activities of daily living, ability to exercise, ability to swallow and their posture will be analysed. People with HD and their carers will also be asked about how they feel their breathing problems may affect them. The findings from the research will increase what is known about the progression of HD and potentially direct further research into effectiveness of physiotherapy treatment.