Isoniazid therapy of Huntington disease

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Article abstract

We describe clinical and biochemical changes in seven patients with Huntington disease given isoniazid (INH) in dosages three to five times greater than normally used in tuberculosis. Because INH inhibits the enzyme y-aminobutyric acid aminotransferase (GABA-T), and increases GABA content in the brains of experimental animals, it might correct the brain GABA deficiency characteristic of Huntington disease. Of six patients treated long enough to be clinically evaluated, one showed marked and two others showed significant improvement. High-dose INH therapy carries serious toxic risks, which are influenced by patients' acetylator phenotypes. Nevertheless, results are sufficiently promising to warrant further controlled trials of INH or other GABA-T inhibitors in Huntington disease.

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