Domains and correlates of clinical balance impairment associated with Huntington's disease

Jesse V. Jacobs, James T. Boyd, Penelope Hogarth, Fay B. Horak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


This study sought to (a) determine the domains of clinical balance impairments associated with Huntington's disease (HD), and (b) evaluate associations between balance test scores and other disease-related impairments. Eighteen subjects with genetically definite HD and 17 age-matched control subjects were evaluated on the Mini-BESTest for their clinical balance impairments as well as the Unified HD Rating Scale (UHDRS) motor and total functional capacity scales, Activity-Specific Balance Confidence (ABC) Scale-short form, Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), and Symbol Digit Modalities Test (SDMT). Results showed that subjects with HD exhibited significantly lower total Mini-BESTest scores than subjects without HD (mean (95% CI)=76 (64-87)% with HD, 98 (96-99)% without HD; p=0.0011). Mini-BESTest item scores were significantly lower for subjects with HD on one-leg stance, postural responses, standing with eyes closed on foam, and dual-task timed up-and-go. Mini-BESTest scores significantly correlated with UHDRS motor (r2=0.68; p=0.00003) and total functional capacity (r2=0.75; p=0.000006) scores as well as with scores on the ABC short form (r2=0.45; p=0.0024), SDMT (r2=0.42; p=0.0036), and MoCA (r2=0.23; p=0.046) assessments. This study, therefore, demonstrates that balance impairments associated with HD span domains of anticipatory postural adjustments, postural responses, stance in challenging sensory conditions, and gait. Although preliminary, clinical balance impairment appears to be an efficient proxy evaluation of multiple HD-related factors due to associations with functional capacity, other motor impairments, balance confidence, and cognitive abilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)867-870
Number of pages4
JournalGait and Posture
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015


  • Balance
  • Huntington's disease
  • Mini BESTest
  • Posture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rehabilitation


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