If a family member has been diagnosed with Huntington’s disease, you may be concerned about your own risk of developing it.Huntington’s disease is passed down through the family.If you notice changes in movement, behavior, or concentration, keep an eye out.A neurologist can give a diagnosis.They will watch you to see if you have any symptoms.If you carry the gene, you can have genetic testing done to confirm it.If you have been diagnosed, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about what you can do to manage your symptoms.
Step 1: Check your family history.
There is a genetic disorder called Huntington’s disease.If you have a parent or grandparent with the disease, you may carry the gene for it.If you have a family history of Huntington’s, you should look for people who had symptoms.Let your doctor know about this medical history.50% of people with a parent with Huntington’s have the disease of their own.If you have a family member who has Huntington’s disease, you may want to check them out.You should see a doctor if you have a family history of it.The only way to get the Huntington’s gene is if your parents or grandparents have it as well.A small percentage of people can develop the gene without a family history.
Step 2: If you see twitching or movements, keep an eye on it.
It can cause you to jerk, twitch, and shake.These movements may get worse as the disease progresses.Write down what part of your body is affected when you have these movements.Eye twitches, strange facial expressions, and flailing arms or legs are some of the common movements.Many diseases, including Ataxia, Myoclonus, and Parkinson’s disease, can cause voluntary muscle twitching.Before making a diagnosis, check for other symptoms.
Step 3: It’s a good idea to watch out for increased falling, stumbling, or clumsiness.
Slow or awkward movements can be caused by Huntington’s, which can make you fall more often than usual.This may make it difficult to walk as the disease progresses.
Step 4: Listen for slurred speech.
You can take more pauses while talking.If you notice a difference in your speech, ask your family and friends.Recording yourself speaking and letting your doctor listen is a good idea if you are concerned about your speech.You may lose the ability to speak as Huntington’s progresses.It’s important to remember that slurred speech can be a sign of many different disorders.You should still see a neurologist, but check for other symptoms as well.
Step 5: There are changes in memory, judgment, and concentration.
How quickly you think can be affected by Huntington’s.It is harder to remember things, or you may feel confused at times.It can be hard to judge this for yourself.If a friend or family member is concerned about your cognitive ability, go to the doctor.You may see a change in academic performance in people under the age of 20.
Step 6: Make sure to check for any changes in behavior or mental health.
Depression, anxiety, and apathy are all signs of Huntington’s.You should keep an eye out for changes in your behavior.Writing in a journal can help you keep track of your moods.You could state that you are angry or upset on a certain day.If there are patterns, this can help you find them.If you’re not diagnosed with Huntington’s, this journal can help a therapist diagnose or treat you.suicidal feelings can be caused by Huntington’s.Call for help if you are feeling suicidal.Speak to someone on the suicide hotline.You can call in the U.S.You can call 116 123 in the UK and 13 11 14 in Australia.If you begin to experience paranoia, you should get to a doctor as soon as possible.
Step 7: There are people under the age of 20 who need help with seizures.
Many young people may have seizures, similar to the symptoms of juvenile Huntington’s.Get medical attention if you or someone else develops a seizure.The more aggressive form of the disease is called juvenile Huntington’s.
Step 8: If you want a referral to a neurologist, ask.
A neurologist is the one who diagnoses and treats Huntington’s, not your primary care doctor.Ask your doctor to refer you to a neurologist.You may need a referral for insurance purposes if you find yourself in a neurologist.
Step 9: To test your motor skills, get a physical examination.
You can be examined by the neurologist for twitches and movement.They can observe your reflexes while you walk.If you experience symptoms at home, tell your doctor.It is a good time to show your doctor any recordings you have made of your symptoms.If you are diagnosed with Huntington’s, your doctor may use a scoring system called the Total Functioning Capacity Rating to determine what stage you’re at.
Step 10: Go for a brain exam.
You may be sent to a hospital for the test.Lie down and follow the instructions of the technician.If there is a change in your brain’s structure, you can see your doctor.Brain scans may not show any changes in the early stages of the disease.If you have just started showing symptoms, your doctor may want to wait.
Step 11: The gene that causes Huntington’s disease is found in your blood.
A genetic counselor will take a blood sample and send it to a lab to find out if you have a defect.If you carry the gene, you can either get Huntington’s disease or not.You can still get a genetic test if you don’t have symptoms of Huntington’s.Everyone who carries the gene will eventually develop Huntington’s.People don’t want to know if they carry the genes.The benefits and drawbacks of knowing this information should be discussed with a genetic counselor.Sometimes a genetic test can be used to confirm a Huntington’s diagnosis.Your doctor may recommend it even if you already have symptoms.
Step 12: If you want a mental evaluation, visit a Psychiatrist.
Since Huntington’s can affect your mental health, you may be sent to a Psychiatrist for further testing.Discuss any symptoms of anxiety, depression, or anger with the doctor.Depression and bipolar disorder can be found in Huntington’s.If you are diagnosed with 1 of these, your Psychiatrist will treat them separately from your Huntington’s disease using medication and therapy.
Step 13: You should be aware of Huntington’s disease.
Huntington’s is progressive, which means that it gets worse over time.The 5 stages of Huntington’s disease can help you determine if you can live independently or not.You may be fully functional at work and home in the first 2 stages, but you may have had more stumbling, trembling, or memory problems.You may need help with certain tasks in the intermediate stage.Some people can live on their own.You may lose the ability to live on your own in the last 2 stages.You might need around-the-clock care.You may be moved to a Hospice in the last stage.Everyone has different symptoms.It is possible that the disease progresses differently for you than for other people.
Step 14: Talk to your neurologist about your treatment plan.
There is no cure for Huntington’s disease.Treatment can help improve your quality of life.A combination of medications may be prescribed by your neurologist.Depending on the stage of the disease, your medication will depend on your symptoms.Drugs that work at an early stage may not work as well in later stages.If you take other medications, get them approved by your doctor as you may become more sensitive to them over time.
Step 15: If it becomes difficult to speak, you should get a speech therapist.
It may become harder to speak and eat as the disease progresses.A speech therapist can help you communicate in other ways.They may be able to provide support with eating.A speech therapist can be referred to by your doctor.
Step 16: Walk and move with the help of an occupational therapist.
As it becomes more difficult to walk or control movements, an occupational therapist can help.A doctor can refer you to an occupational therapist.As the disease progresses, the occupational therapist can help you maintain control over basic tasks, such as feeding yourself or going to the restroom.The therapist can suggest ways to help you get around.
Step 17: Receive mental health counseling during the process.
Huntington’s can be difficult to live with because there is no cure.As the disease progresses, counseling can help you deal with it.Ask for a referral to a psychologist.A support group is a great option.The Huntington’s Disease Society of America has a support group in the U.S.
Step 18: Make plans for end of life care.
After being diagnosed with Huntington’s disease, people tend to live for about 10 years.You may lose your independence at the end.Talk to your doctor and loved ones about your wishes for end of life care.Once you are no longer able to make your own decisions, make a living will that spells out your wishes.It is possible to get other affairs in order at the same time.If you want to make your wishes known regarding a burial, talk to a lawyer.