Huntington's Disease: Causes and Caretaking
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An estimated 30,000 Americans live with Huntington’s Disease (HD), which is an inherited brain disease that can affect people from two to 80. HD is a genetic disorder that causes the progressive breakdown of nerve cells in the brain. This, in turn, causes abnormal, writhing, wiggling movements of the body with loss of balance and poor dexterity. Huntington’s also causes problems with mood, judgment, memory and cognition. HD causes deterioration of a person's physical and mental abilities during the prime working years
30 to 50
Symptoms typically appear in people between the ages of 30 and 50.
While Huntington’s isn’t currently curable, there is care available for those affected. The first and only Huntington's Disease Society of America (HDSA) Center of Excellence in the State of Louisiana is part of the Ochsner Neuroscience Institute. This center is one of only 39 national HDSA centers and the only one in the Gulf South.
Our center offers current and comprehensive care for patients with HD and related disorders. Our team provides our patients with an interdisciplinary, collaborative approach to their care and strives to maximize function for each patient by providing personalized care.
While there is no cure for HD, management by a Huntington's Disease Specialist can improve quality of life and function for patients.
- Patients receive an individualized care plan to address any of their physical, mental, personal and social needs
- Patients may be offered access to groundbreaking clinic trials
- Patients may be offered symptomatic medications
In the Huntington’s Disease clinic, patients are seen by the interdisciplinary team every six months, on the second Tuesday of the month. During the appointment, team members perform specialized evaluations as part of the comprehensive care offered to every patient. Ochsner's comprehensive care means HD patients can have all of their healthcare needs met and coordinated with the HD Clinic team.
Our care team includes movement disorder neurologists, a licensed clinical social worker, a speech language pathologist, a physical and occupational therapist, a dietitian and a neuropsychologist.