How to prevent Huntington’s disease
Huntington’s disease cannot be prevented or avoided because this disease is inherited and passed down by genetics but there are treatments which can help a person suffering from Huntington’s disease to slow down symptoms and live a more normal life. Most people can determine if they have Huntington’s by getting genetic counseling and blood tests. For parents that carry these genes their children will have a 50% chance of getting this disease. Parent carriers can prevent their kids from Huntington’s disease by screening the embryos for gene mutations, assisted reproduction, and adoption.
How does Huntington’s disease affect people and their daily lives?
Huntington’s disease breaks down and degenerates nerve cells in the brain leading to involuntary movement, cognitive, and behavioral problems in the body. During the early stages of Huntington’s disease involuntary movement can be described as fidgety or restless. Most people with these problems don’t even realize them because they start to lose awareness of their own bodies. As the stages of Huntington’s disease progresses doing basic movements can become harder. For example, walking becomes slower, balance gets less reliable, swallowing gets harder and movements such as writing becomes uncoordinated. Speaking can also be affected as it will become slurs and eventually some people will lose their speech. These are all serious problems because people affected with Huntington’s disease will not be able to drive, eat properly, talk, and write in some cases. This can affect the way people live and basic functions can become challenging. Cognitive problems can also affect a person with Huntington’s disease and it can make it harder to concentrate, make decisions, and can affect their memory. Communicating may also become challenging and it may take a person with Huntington’s disease longer to process information and say it aloud. Lastly, a person with this disease may also develop behavioral problems which cause them to have depression, apathy, denial, aggressiveness, and repetitiveness. It is important for people with this disease to have support from family and friends along with treatments to help them get better and live a more normal lifestyle.
How can people cope with Huntington’s disease and learn to live with it?
Huntington’s disease is not easy to live with and can be very stressful to family members but there are ways to handle this disease and live a better lifestyle. Although there are no effective treatments there is medication which can help manage symptoms. Patients with Huntington’s disease are advised to exercise regularly, have proper nutrition and drink plenty of fluids. Another option which helps a person affected