Neurology - 1 South Prospect Street
1 South Prospect Street
Arnold, Level 2
Burlington, VT 05401-5505
Huntington's disease is a rare condition that breaks down (degeneration) nerve cells in the brain. The disorder causes rapid, jerky body movements and the loss of normal mental abilities (dementia). It can also cause personality changes, behavior problems, and memory loss. At The UVM Medical Center, we use a team of highly skilled experts to diagnose & treat neurological conditions.
Huntington's Disease Care at UVM Medical Center
Huntington's disease is an inherited disorder which can not be cured. It can, however, be treated to manage the condition and slow the degeneration of the nerve cells in the brain. At The University of Vermont Medical Center, we take a team approach to treating this condition.
- Teamwork - Complex neurological conditions are most effectively treated by using a team of professionals that span multiple areas of medicine. Neurologists, neurosurgeons, neuroradiologists and rehabilitation providers come together to provide the most comprehensive treatment possible.
- Personalized Care - Our staff of specialists
areapproachable and caring. Because neurological conditions often involve unique challenges for both patients and their loved ones, we offer support services. These services are tailored to the individual needs of each patient and include counseling, rehabilitation and pain management.
- Experienced, Trusted Experts - We have an extensive group of highly skilled experts that are dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of conditions affecting the brain and nervous system. The UVM Medical Center is a university hospital, which means that the care we provide is informed and enhanced by ongoing education and research. We use the latest techniques and technology to ensure you are receiving the best care possible.
Huntington's Disease Diagnosis
Huntington's disease symptoms can be caused by a number of different conditions. It's important to get a prompt, thorough diagnosis in order to guide your personalized treatment plan effectively. Neurologists and neuroradiologists at The UVM Medical Center are specially trained in advanced diagnostic methods and technology, including:
- MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
- CT or CAT Scan (Computed Tomography)
- EEG (Electroencephalogram)
- Huntington's Disease Genetic Test
- Neurological Examination consists of a series of questions and tests to check the brain, spinal cord and nerve function. The exam checks a person's mental status, coordination, and ability to walk normally and how well the muscles, senses, and reflexes work. This may also be called a neuro exam or a neurologic exam.
- Psychiatric evaluation determines your emotional state and if you are suffering from depression.
Treatments for Huntington's Disease
No treatments can cure or prevent Huntington's disease, but medications can lessen some symptoms of movement and psychiatric disorders. Combining medications and other treatments like physical therapy can help you adapt to changes in your abilities. Treatments for Huntington's disease include:
- Therapy - various forms of therapy may improve your functional abilities, such as:
- Medications - medications used to treat Huntington's disease may include:
- Antidepressant Medications
- Movement Disorder Medication
- Antipsychotic Drugs: These medications may suppress violent outbursts, agitation and other symptoms of mood disorders or psychosis. Also, some have the side effect of suppressing movements, which can be helpful in treating chorea (uncontrolled muscle movements).
- Mood-Stabilizing Drugs
- Anti-Seizure Drugs
- Anti-Anxiety Drugs