How does HD progress over time?
Although HD is a progressive illness, the rate
of progression varies from person to person, and many people with
HD are able to live independently or with only minor assistance
for many years. However, HD eventually causes physical and mental
disability requiring significant assistance at home or in a care
What treatments are available for HD?
Treatments for HD can be divided into two categories:
those that are aimed at treating the symptoms of the illness (like
depression or chorea) and those that slow down the underlying
progression of the illness. Although there are currently no treatments
proven to slow down progression or to delay its onset, there are clinical trials
in progress which aim to identify such treatments.
Medications should be used with care in a
person with HD, who may be especially sensitive to side effects.
A person with HD may respond differently to medications in different
stages of the illness, so the medication list should be reviewed
frequently. In general, an approach which starts medications at
a low dose and increases slowly as needed works best. Ideally,
medications should be given under the supervision of a physician
experienced in the care of patients with HD. A person with HD
may have difficulty taking medications on a schedule, so it is
a good idea to keep the schedule as simple as possible and to
use pill boxes or direct supervision by a care provider as necessary.
Click these links for an up to date guideline on current expert practice in the treatment of chorea, irritability or perseveration:
International Survey-based Algorithms for the Pharmacologic Treatment of