Greater Time in Bed and Less Physical Activity Associate With Poorer Cognitive Functioning Performance in Huntington’s Disease

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Objective: This study aimed to investigate how sleep and physical activity habits related to cognitive functioning, in naturalistic settings, in early Huntington’s disease (HD). Method: Forty-two participants with the expanded HD repeat (20 manifest, 22 premanifest) and 29 healthy controls wore Fitbit One sleep and activity monitors for 7 days and 7 nights. They used a smartphone application to complete daily sleep and activity diaries, sleep and mood inventories, and a brief battery of cognitive tests, which were completed on Day 8 of the study. All data were collected in naturalistic home and community settings. Results: Amongst participants with the expanded HD repeat, greater time spent in bed, measured by Fitbit, was associated with poorer accuracy and response speed on a test of visual memory, whereas lower levels of physical activity, measured by Fitbit, were associated with poorer accuracy on a test involving aworking memory component. Neither time in bed nor physical activity is associated with a test of psychomotor speed.Groupsweremostly similar across a range of Fitbit and self-report measures of sleep and physical activity, although the Manifest-HD group spent more time in bed than the Premanifest-HD and Healthy Control groups and had better self-reported sleep quality and more self-reported time spent sitting than the Healthy Control group and the Premanifest-HD group, respectively. Conclusions: Sleep timing and physical activity relate to cognitive functioning in HD and may be important targets for management in behavioral intervention studies aimed at improving cognition in HD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)656-667
Number of pages12
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021


  • Cognition
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Physical activity
  • Sleep

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