What is Huntington’s Disease?

What is Huntington's Disease

Many people have a perception of what they think that dementia should “look” like or how it should manifest. They have clear ideas of what the condition is and how it can be managed, however, these are not always accurate. The reality is, the term “dementia” does not apply to one disease or condition, but rather is a blanket term that can be applied to a wide variety of conditions. Each of these has their own set of symptoms and as a family caregiver it is essential that you understand these symptoms, the effects they can have on your parent, and how you can give them the proper care as they deal with them.

One condition that can be categorized as dementia is Huntington’s disease. Also called Huntington’s chorea or abbreviated as HD, this is a fatal disease characterized by the progressive breakdown of nerve cells in the brain.

Cause of Huntington’s Disease

Huntington’s Disease is a genetic disorder, meaning it is caused by problems at the genetic level. Any child that is born to a parent with the defective gene that causes Huntington’s disease has a 50 percent chance of inheriting that defective gene and therefore developing the disease.

Some things that you should know about Huntington’s disease include:

– There are approximately 30,000 people throughout the United States who are currently symptomatic of Huntington’s disease.

– There are approximately 200,000 people throughout the United States who are currently at risk of developing the disease.

– The symptoms of Huntington’s disease generally appear between the ages of 30 and 50, but can appear later.

– The disease progresses over the course of approximately 10 to 25 years.

– A sufferer of Huntington’s disease will not die of the disease itself, but rather complications developed due to their weakened state, such as heart failure or pneumonia.

– Every person who inherits the gene for the disease will develop the disease eventually.

– Only those who have the gene will develop the disease and will have the potentiality of passing that gene on to their children.

Treatment for Huntington’s Disease

If your elder parent has been suffering from dementia, now may be the ideal time for you to consider starting elder care for them. An elder home care services provider can be with your aging parent on a completely customized schedule to ensure that they get the level of care, support, and assistance that they need, when they need it, to manage their symptoms and focus on staying safe, healthy, comfortable, and active. Through these highly personalized services, the care provider can encourage your elder loved one to maintain as much independence as possible while handling their symptoms in the way that is right for them.

This supports a more fulfilling quality of life throughout their later years. As a family caregiver this can help you to feel more confident that even when your elder is dealing with challenging symptoms and you are not able to be with them, they will get everything that they need to live the lifestyle that they desire while still managing their disease properly and effectively.

Sources:

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http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/huntingtons-disease/basics/definition/con-20030685

If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring dementia care services in Florida, contact the caring staff at Sonas Home Health Care by calling (888) 592-5855 today.

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