Body weight and onset of Huntington’s disease: Just an association or a causal effect?


  • Body weight was not causally related to age at onset in patients with Huntington’s disease (HD).

Why this matters

  • Patients with HD experience weight loss, which is associated with disease progression.

  • Although data from observational studies show that patients with a higher body mass index (BMI) deteriorate more slowly, it is not known whether body weight is causally related to the onset or progression of HD.

  • The findings of this Mendelian randomization (MR) study, which explored the causal effects of BMI on residual age at onset of HD in a large population of patients, may be valuable for clinicians providing care and advice to patients with HD, as well as for researchers looking to conduct studies into the underlying pathologic pathways of this disease and future treatments for HD.