Deciding on medications for someone affected by Huntington’s disease can be very difficult due to the fact that you don’t directly treat the disease, you treat its symptoms. This can mean that a huge array of medications are available for the person affected, therefore fathoming their symptoms and the right medication to suit them can be confusing. It’s important to seek the support of a doctor who has an understanding of Huntington’s if there is one available in your area.
The sorts of problems that can be helped with medications are as follows; Low mood (depression), anxiety, irritability (short temper) and jerky movements. Most of those problems will have other treatments too that should be considered alongside, or instead of, the medications. This might include changes in the environment and in the way other people interact with the person who has Huntington’s disease, physical exercise and adaptations.
Some Huntington’s disease-related problems can’t usually be treated with medication. These include apathy, memory difficulties, planning problems, problems with social understanding and balance. In these situations, there are often non-medication treatments and strategies that can be used.
Ideally, people with Huntington’s are referred to a specialist Huntington’s disease clinic by their GP. Complex medication is primarily managed through the clinic, in liaison with the patient’s GP and local health teams, such as community mental health teams.
There are a number of specialist clinics across England and Wales. Most tend to be in larger cities. Each clinic is run differently but all will have a neurologist and most have a range of other professionals too. These can include psychiatrists, specialist nurses, psychologists and other members of the MDT.
To find out more about medication for Huntington's disease take a look at our article All you need to know about medications for Huntington’s disease. You can also contact us on 0151 331 5444 or email [email protected] for more information.