Huntington’s Disease

Huntington’s Disease

Huntington’s disease is a rare, hereditary condition in which your brain’s nerve cells progressively break down. These impacts on a person’s functional abilities, physical movements, emotions, and cognitive abilities. There is no cure, but there are ways to manage with this disease and its symptoms.

Symptoms

There are two types of Huntington’s disease: adult onset (when people are in their 30s or 40s) and early onset (before age 20).

Adult Onset

Adult onset is the most common type of Huntington’s disease. Symptoms starts appearing when people are in their 30s or 40s. Initial signs often include:

  • hallucinations
  • depression
  • irritability
  • psychosis
  • trouble making decisions
  • poor coordination
  • minor involuntary movements
  • difficulty understanding new information
  • Symptoms that may occur as the disease progresses include:
  • difficulty walking
  • uncontrolled twitching movements, called chorea
  • memory loss
  • trouble swallowing and speaking
  • confusion
  • speech changes
  • personality changes
  • decline in cognitive abilities

Early Onset

This type of Huntington’s disease is less common. Symptoms start appearing in childhood or adolescence. It causes mental, emotional, and physical changes, such as:

  • drooling
  • slurred speech
  • clumsiness
  • slow movements
  • rigid muscles
  • frequent falling
  • seizures
  • sudden decline in school performance

Causes

Huntington’s disease is caused by an inherited defect in a single gene. It’s considered an autosomal dominant disorder, which means that only one copy of the defective or abnormal gene is enough to develop the disorder.

If one of your parents has this genetic defect, you have a 50 percent chance of inheriting it. You can also pass it on to your children.

Physical therapy at SOS PHYSIO Rehab

Physical therapy can teach you appropriate and safe exercises that enhance strength, improve your coordination, balance, and flexibility. With this training, your mobility is improved, and falls may be prevented. These exercises can help maintain mobility as long as possible and may reduce the risk of falls.

Occupational therapy can be used to evaluate your daily activities & recommend devices that help with:

  • eating and drinking
  • movement
  • getting dressed
  • bathing

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