NEW YORK, NY (November 1, 2021) — Arik Johnson, PsyD has joined the Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA) as Chief Mission Officer. He is a licensed clinical psychologist who has spent more than 17 years caring for families affected by Huntington’s disease (HD) and is highly respected leader in HD advocacy and care. A longtime member of the HDSA community, Dr. Johnson served on the HDSA Board of Trustees from 2010 to 2020 and was Chairman of the Board for the 2017-2018 term.
Most recently Dr. Johnson provided care at the Movement Disorder Program in the Department of Neurology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), as well as the HDSA Center of Excellence at UCLA. Dr. Johnson earned his masters and doctor of psychology degrees at the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University and received his bachelors of science at the University of Minnesota.
The Huntington’s Disease Society of America is the premier nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of everyone affected by HD. From community services and education to advocacy and research, HDSA is the world’s leader in providing help for today and hope for tomorrow for people with HD and their families. HDSA was founded in 1967 by Marjorie Guthrie, the wife of legendary folk singer Woody Guthrie. Woody died from HD complications when he was only 55 years old, but the Guthrie family legacy lives on at HDSA to this day.
Huntington’s disease is a fatal genetic disorder that causes the progressive breakdown of nerve cells in the brain. It deteriorates a person’s physical and mental abilities during their prime working years and has no cure. Every child of a parent with HD has a 50/50 chance of inheriting the faulty gene that causes HD. Today, there are approximately 41,000 symptomatic Americans and more than 200,000 at-risk of inheriting the disease. The symptoms of HD are described as having, ALS, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s – simultaneously.
To learn more about Huntington’s disease and the work of the Huntington’s Disease Society of America, visit www.hdsa.org or call (800)345-HDSA.