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Reduction in cerebral atrophy associated with ethyl-eicosapentaenoic acid treatment in patients with Huntington's disease

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  • B K Puri
  • G M Bydder
  • M S Manku
  • A Clarke
  • A D Waldman
  • C F Beckmann

Related Edinburgh Organisations

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)896-905
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of International Medical Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2008


Ultra-pure ethyl-eicosapentaenoic acid (ethyl-EPA), a semi-synthetic ethyl ester of eicosapentaenoic acid, is associated with clinical improvement in motor functioning in Huntington's disease. The aim was to determine the extent to which it might reduce the rate of progress of cerebral atrophy. High-resolution cerebral magnetic resonance imaging scans were acquired at baseline, 6 months and 1 year in up to 34 patients with stage I or II Huntington's disease who took part in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of ethyl-EPA. For each subject and each pair of structural images, the two-timepoint brain volume change was calculated in a double-blind manner. Significant group-level reductions in brain atrophy were observed in the head of the caudate nucleus and the posterior thalamus. These findings show that treatment with ethyl-EPA is associated with significant reduction in brain atrophy, particularly in the caudate and thalamus. No other drug tested in Huntington's disease has shown this effect.

    Research areas

  • Animals, Atrophy, Cerebral Cortex, Double-Blind Method, Eicosapentaenoic Acid, Female, Humans, Huntington Disease, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Middle Aged, Placebos, Journal Article, Randomized Controlled Trial

ID: 46188798