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Euro Huntington's disease network [logo]
Working Groups - Health Economics -


Huntington’s Disease (HD) is a progressive illness of the central nervous system. It typically begins in those aged 40-50, leads to high levels of disability and frequently has a major impact on behaviour and cognition. These features suggest that HD has substantial economic consequences for (i) health and social care services, (ii) family members who will often have to provide care, (iii) society in the form of productivity losses, and (iv) patients themselves in terms of lost income. Of course, the non-economic implications are also substantial.

Assessing the economic impact of HD is important for a number of reasons. First, there are competing demands for health and social care services and, therefore, it is helpful to measure the demands placed on these by any particular condition. Second, there is a need to provide high quality economic data that can be used in future evaluations of treatments for HD. Third, establishing the economic cost of HD would serve to highlight its impact, and this could then act as an impetus for policy makers and research funders to give the condition greater attention. However, there have been very few attempts to assess the economic cost of HD, and those that have been performed are more than twenty years old (Tyler et al, 1982; Hayden et al, 1980).


The aims of this proposed study are:
  1. To produce a questionnaire to assess the economic impact of HD.
  2. To measure service use of a representative sample of people with HD in the UK.
  3. To calculate the cost of services.
  4. To estimate the indirect costs of HD caused by lost employment and reduced productivity.
  5. To identify factors that influence variations in cost.

Lead facilitator:

G. Bernhard Landwehrmeyer, Prof. MD
Neurologist, Principal Investigator
Ulm University Hospital, Neurology
Postal address: Oberer Eselsberg 45/1
89081 Ulm
phone: +49 731 50063100
fax: +49 731 50063082
PD Dr. Reinhold Kilian
Uniklinik Ulm, Bezirkskrankenhaus Günzburg, Klinik für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie II
Postal address: Ludwig-Heilmeyer-Str. 2
89312 Günzburg
phone: +49 8221 962861
fax: +49 8221 9628160
homepage: www.uni-ulm.de/psychiatrieII/t_kilianr.htm