Exploring the brain-body composition relationship in Huntington's disease


Objective: Changes in body composition are a common feature of Huntington’s disease (HD) and are associated with disease progression. However, whether these changes in body composition are associated with degeneration of the striatum is unknown. This study aimed to explore the associations between body composition metrics and striatal brain volume in individuals with premanifest HD and healthy controls.

Methods: Twenty-one individuals with premanifest HD and 22 healthy controls participated in this cross-sectional study. Body composition metrics were measured via dualenergy X-ray absorptiometry. Structural magnetic resonance imaging of subcortical structures of the brain was performed to evaluate striatal volume.

Results: There were no significant differences in body composition metrics between the premanifest HD and healthy controls group. Striatal volume was significantly reduced in individuals with premanifest HD compared to healthy controls. A significant association between bone mineral density (BMD) and right putamen volume was also observed in individuals with premanifest HD.

Conclusion: These findings show striatal degeneration is evident during the premanifest stages of HD and associated with BMD. Additional longitudinal studies are nevertheless needed to confirm these findings.


bone mineral density, caudate volume, fat percentage, putamen volume, striatum volume

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