LEUVEN, Belgium--Creatine does not improve "functional, neuromuscular or cognitive status in patients with stage I to stage III Huntington's disease," according to a one-year, double blind, placebo-controlled study led by Patricia Verbessem, Ph.D., from the Exercise Physiology and Biomechanics Laboratory in Leuven, Belgium. The study was published in the Oct. 14 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Neurology(61, 7:925-30, 2003) (www.neurology.org).
Forty-one patients with Huntington's disease (HD) were given either 5 g/d of creatine (5 g/d is enough to improve muscle functional capacity in healthy subjects with neuromuscular disease, according to the researchers) or placebo. They were tested at baseline, six months and 12 months of supplementation for the functional, neuromuscular and cognitive status of the disease. The tests consisted of four separate categories, including the Unified Huntington's Disease Rating Scale (UHDRS), an exercise test to evaluate strength of the elbow flexor muscles, a maximal exercise test (administered on a bicycle ergometer) to evaluate overall cardiorespitory fitness, and a test to asses bimanual coordination ability. According to the researchers, results showed no change from baseline to one year in the cognitive functioning, bimanual coordination ability or general motor functions (total motor scale according to the USDRS) in either group.