Optimize Quality of Life

Caring for people with HD is both challenging and rewarding. At times, the lack of definitive treatments can be frustrating, but careful attention to the changing symptoms and good communication between professionals, family members, and affected individuals can contribute to the successful management of the disease. Because there are no treatments which can slow, halt, or reverse the course of the disease, the goals of treatment are to reduce the burden of symptoms, maximize function, and optimize quality of life.

Tailor Treatment to the Individual

Symptoms of HD evolve over time as a person passes through different stages of the disease. Symptoms also vary from individual to individual, even within a family. For example, one person may develop a severe mood disorder, requiring multiple hospitalizations, but have little motor disability at the time. The individual’s brother may have debilitating motor symptoms at the same disease duration, but no mood disturbance at all. Thus, interventions need to be tailored to individual symptoms, and fearful HD persons should be reassured that their symptoms may not necessarily resemble those of their relatives.