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Treatment for Huntington's Disease

Lifestyle and Care Issues Involved in Treatment for Huntington's Disease

An important aspect of treatment for Huntington's disease involves addressing lifestyle and care issues to help people with the disorder cope with the condition. Such treatment may include:
 
  • Speech therapy
  • Regular physical activity
  • Assistance with feeding-related issues (which may include swallowing therapy)
  • Proper nutrition
  • Adequate fluids.
     
Speech Therapy
Problems may arise when individuals try to express complex thoughts in words they can no longer pronounce intelligibly. It can be helpful to repeat words back to the person with Huntington's disease, so that he or she knows that some thoughts are understood. Sometimes people mistakenly assume that if individuals do not talk, they also do not understand. Never isolate individuals by not talking, and try to keep their environment as normal as possible. Speech therapy may improve the individual's ability to communicate.
 
Physical Activity
As part of Huntington's disease treatment, it is extremely important for the person with Huntington's disease to maintain physical fitness as much as his or her condition and the course of the disease allows. Individuals who exercise and keep active tend to do better than those who do not. A daily regimen of exercise can help the person feel better physically and mentally.
 
Although their coordination may be poor, individuals should continue walking, with assistance if necessary. Those who want to walk independently should be allowed to do so as long as possible, and careful attention should be given in keeping their environment free of hard, sharp objects. This will help ensure the most independence possible while minimizing the risk of injury from a fall.
 
Individuals can also wear special padding during walks to help protect against injury from falls. Some people have found that small weights around the ankles can help stability. Wearing sturdy shoes that fit well can help too, especially shoes without laces that can be slipped on or off easily.
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Huntington's Disease Info

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