Physiotherapy in Treating Huntington Disease

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Huntington Disease is an inherited, neurodegenerative disorder.
This devastating illness, although inherited by genetic disposition at birth, normally emerges when a person is between the ages of 30 and 50. Juvenile Huntington Disease is rare, but affects young people under the age of 22.

Physiotherapy in treating Huntington Disease is often one of the only treatments effective in managing this slowly progressing, life threatening illness. Huntington Disease robs individuals of their physical abilities as well as speech and causes emotional confusion. This is a slow growing disease, but eventually fatal. Most people with Huntington Disease live about 20 years after diagnosis.

Many people with this dreaded disease that affects hundreds of thousands of people in the United States alone, often turn to physiotherapy in treating Huntington Disease. Because of the gradual physical deterioration of patients with this disease, early intervention of physiotherapy in treating Huntington Disease can not only prolong life, but also improve the quality of life for those individuals suffering from this condition.

Huntington Disease effects mostly Caucasians with Western European ethnicity. At the present time, there is no cure for this dreaded disease. Certain medications have proven to alleviate some of the symptoms and physiotherapy in treating Huntington Disease has proven to be effective in maintaining movement and stabilizing emotional well being.

Symptoms of Huntington Disease include physical, cognitive and emotional changes in an individual. The first to appear are the physical symptoms which include imbalance, involuntary movements of arms and legs and slurred speech. When physiotherapy in treating Huntington Disease involves manipulation of the arms and legs, massages, exercises to strengthen muscles and better develop coordination. If treated early on in the disease, this can sometimes stave off some of the physical symptoms of the illness, although it cannot cure the disease.

Huntington Disease is a neurological illness. Other symptoms include dementia, short term memory loss and difficulty in solving problems. These symptoms mirror others, including Alzheimer’s and many who present with such symptoms are often misdiagnosed with this illness.

A person suffering from Huntington Disease ma experience mood swings, develop aggressive tendencies, experience depression and become impulsive. They may do things in public that are out of the ordinary and many who present with these symptoms are also misdiagnosed as suffering from mental illness.

Huntington Disease affects each patient in a different manner. Physiotherapy in treating Huntington Disease is one of the most effective treatments that we have today in trying to help people with this devastating, life robbing illness. There are various organizations that are working diligently for better treatments, medications and a potential cure.

In the early stages of Huntington Disease, it is crucial to seek physiotherapy intervention as well as proper medical treatment. The early stages enable a person to continue to function in normal capacity at home and at work. The early stages of the disease can be extended with proper therapy and treatment. Physiotherapy in treating Huntington Disease is three-fold – it works to maintain the early stages of the disease by massage, physical and speech therapy and helps the individual maintain full functionality for as long as possible.

During the second stage of the disease, the person will begin to become incapacitated. Physiotherapy in treating Huntington Disease during the second stage of the disease involves continuing with physical therapy and improving speech patterns.

Physiotherapy in treating Huntington Disease during the late stages of the disease involves movement exercises to keep the individual from forming blood clots that can lead to stroke. During this stage of the disease, an individual can no longer care for his or her self. Many people in the late or advanced stages of the disease are confined to nursing facilities where physiotherapy in treating Huntington Disease is used to prolong life and maintain movement with these individuals who are no longer able to care for themselves.

Like Alzheimer’s, Huntington Disease is a cruel, life robbing illness that causes a patient to deteriorate over a long period of time. Physiotherapy to treat Huntington Disease is consists of many facets. Until there is a cure for this dreaded illness, physiotherapists will work to try to preserve a patient’s mobility, dignity and life for as long as possible.


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