Huntington’s Disease Impacts Families for Generations
The more we understand what families go through, the better care we
can provide. Hear from real patients and their family members about
the impact that Huntington’s disease has had on their lives.
Huntington’s Disease Symptom Management
The Huntington’s disease triad of symptoms is motor dysfunction,
cognitive impairment, and behavioral features, like anxiety and
depression. 2,11 While there are no
currently approved treatments that target the underlying cause of HD,
there are symptomatic treatments and therapies that can provide relief
for your patients. This is not a comprehensive list of
For patients who are experiencing motor-related symptoms 2,14,15:
Regular patient assessment and adjustment of medications are required to target the specific movement disorder as it progresses.
- Physical therapy can help with physical conditioning,
strength, balance, and gait
- Speech and language therapy can assist with communication and swallowing issues
- Monoamine depletors or neuroleptics have been used for chorea
- Medications can be prescribed for dystonia, rigidity,
For patients who are dealing with behavioral symptoms 2:
Regular patient assessment is needed for medication and dose
- Psychological therapy may help with various behavioral
- Proper sleep hygiene can help prevent
- Social support groups are
helpful for patients so they know they are not alone. See below for
If prescription medication is warranted:
- Nonstimulating selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors can be used for depression
- Atypical neuroleptics can help with psychiatric symptoms
For patients who are experiencing cognitive symptoms 15:
- Occupational therapy can
help with daily functioning such as managing tasks, maintaining
routines, as well as maintaining safety and mobility in the
Huntington's Disease Treatment Guidelines
To help ensure that patients receive a consistent level of care, several organizations have established guidelines for the treatment and management of HD.
Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA) A Physician’s Guide to Management of Huntington’s Disease is the latest edition of their guidelines, which now shows a much better understanding of the disease’s genetic, biochemical, and neuroanatomic basis.
European Huntington’s Disease Network (EHDN) “International Guidelines for Treatment of Huntington’s Disease” provides global evidence-based recommendations for everyday clinical practice for the treatment of HD
Help Your Patients Stay Connected to the Support and Resources They
Continue to support your patients and their families by sharing beneficial resources.
Advocacy Groups: Nonprofit organizations have been established to help improve the lives of those affected by HD, including Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA), Huntington's Disease Youth Organization, Help 4 HD, and HD Reach.
Additional Resources: Your patients and their families can find more HD news, support, and encouragement at sites like: Caregiving.com, Caregiver Crossing Radio, Huntington’s Disease News, and HD Buzz.