Huntington’s disease may progress faster in women, according to a study published in the February 2013 issue of Parkinsonism & Related Disorders
Researchers analyzed the cognitive, behavioral, motor, functional, and independence levels of 1267 patients with Huntington’s disease to determine differences in progression in men and women. Factors such as age of onset, disease duration, smoking history, and depression were factored into the results. Researchers measured participants’ cognitive scores over time to measure the rate of progression. Women with mid-age onset Huntington’s disease had lower scores than men in motor skills and overall function. Researchers also found that functional, motor, and independence levels deteriorated at a faster rate than in men.
The researchers conclude that gender affects the progression of Huntington’s disease in complex ways, resulting in a more severe, faster progressing disease in women. They suggest that gender should be considered in future clinical trials.