What is Huntington’s disease
Huntington’s disease (HD) is a rare, hereditary, degenerative disorder of the brain that was first described by George Huntington in 1872. Symptoms include motor (movement), behavioural (for example mood) and cognitive (for example understanding) disturbances, which in the majority of cases appear in mid-adult life. There are currently no therapies that effectively treat the underlying causes of HD, although there are treatments that can alleviate some of its symptoms and improve quality of life for those affected by it.
Symptoms & Disease Progression
- Early Stage: the person is diagnosed as having HD and can function fully both at home and at work. Early Intermediate Stage: the person remains employable but at a reduced capacity. S/he is still able to manage daily affairs despite some difficulties.
- Late Intermediate Stage: the person can no longer work or manage household responsibilities. S/he needs considerable help or supervision to handle daily financial affairs. Other daily activities may pose slight difficulties but s/he usually only needs minor help.
- Early Advanced Stage: the person is no longer independent in daily activities but is still able to live at home if supported by family or professional carers. Advanced Stage: the person requires complete support in daily activities and professional nursing care is usually needed.