Affiliations: [a] McGovern Medical School, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth), Houston, TX, USA
| [b] Neurocognitive Disorders Center, Department of Neurology, McGovern Medical School, UTHealth, Houston, TX, USA
| [c] The Mitchell Center for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Brain Disorders, Department of Neurology, McGovern Medical School, UTHealth, Houston, TX, USA
| [d] Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA) Center of Excellence at UTHealth & Department of Neurology, McGovern Medical School, UTHealth, Houston, TX, USA
Correspondence to: Natalia P. Rocha, MsC, PhD, The Mitchell Center for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Brain Disorders, Department of Neurology, McGovern Medical School, UTHealth, 6431 Fannin Street MSE R456, Houston, TX 77030, USA. Tel.: +1 713 500 74 96; E-mail: [email protected].
Abstract: Background:Despite the abundance of clinical tools, sleep disorders are still not routinely evaluated in patients with Huntington’s disease (HD). Sleep disturbances can exacerbate cognitive impairment and mood disorders and seriously affect the life of the patients and their families. Objective:The current study was designed to investigate sleep quality and its association with clinical symptoms in HD. As an exploratory aim, we also evaluated sleep quality in caregivers of patients with HD. Methods:Twenty-nine patients with HD and 22 caregivers completed a series of self-reported questionnaires about sleep quality and pattern, cognitive function, and depression and anxiety symptoms. Spearman correlation analyses were performed to ascertain the association between sleep quality and severity of self-perceived clinical symptoms. Results:The primary sleep complaints reported by the patients were related to waking up in the middle of the night or early in the morning; and increased sleep latency. Seventeen of 29 HD patients (59%) and 12 of 22 caregivers (55%) were classified as “poor” sleepers. Worse sleep quality among HD patients was associated with greater severity of anxiety and depression symptoms. Importantly, a decline in sleep quality was associated with decreased self-perceived cognitive function for both HD patients and caregivers. Conclusion:Increasing awareness and improving our understanding of sleep dysfunction in HD is imperative for individuals with HD and indirectly, their caregivers. Regularly incorporating sleep assessments when evaluating HD patients should be considered to address this troublesome nonmotor symptom.