Background: Huntington’s disease is an autosomal inherited motor disease of the central nervous system that is progressive. It is one of the neurodegenerative diseases characterized by excessive and abnormal movements resulting from loss of selected striatal neurons. The disease is caused by a single defective gene protein (huntingtin) on chromosome 4 (one of the 23 human chromosomes) and the defect is “dominant”. The symptoms of the disease are categorized into physical symptoms example chorea- involuntary movements of the limbs, face and body etc.; cognitive or mental symptoms example forgetfulness and memory decline etc. and emotional symptoms example obsessive-compulsive behavior etc.
Objective: To study therapeutic agents (drugs) clinically used to treat the disease and analytical methods employed to determine these agents in biological fluids.
Methodology: Information was obtained from published works in scientific journals, official books. Academic institution library and the internet websites also assisted in gathering the required information.
Results: Literature study has revealed that current clinical treatments are based on managing symptoms of the disease with first-line therapeutic agents such as clozapine and olanzapine (atypical antipsychotic agent), tetrabenazine (dopamine depleting agent), fluoxetine, paroxetine and sertraline (antidepressants). Other therapeutic agents such as benzodiazepines, antibiotics are used to manage other symptoms associated with the disorder. Biological fluids mostly used are whole blood, plasma, serum and urine. Analytical methods such spectroscopic and chromatographic methods are very often the analytical methods of interest. However, liquid chromatographic methods (hyphenated or non-hyphenated systems) are the preferred methods since these drugs are administered mostly in combinations and may have low plasma concentrations requiring the use of sensitive and selective analytical methods.
Conclusion: Although, these chromatographic systems are expensive, however, they not only successfully resolve these therapeutic agents from each other and also from the endogenous/exogenous biological fluids constituents but they simultaneously identify and quantify them.