Huntington’s disease is a rare, inherited disease that causes the progressive breakdown (degeneration) of nerve cells in the brain.
Symptoms will typically start between 30-50 (but the range can be 2-80 years). The first symptoms of Huntington’s disease often include difficulty concentrating, memory lapses, depression – including low mood, a lack of interest in things, and feelings of hopelessness.
Movement disorders can also develop such as involuntary jerking, contracture, trouble walking and balancing, and difficulty with speech or swallowing. Huntington’s disease can also cause psychiatric disorders such as mania and bipolar disorder.
In this episode we talk more about the disease, how it is inherited, and how people with the disease are cared for.
- Mayo Clinic: Huntington’s Disease
- HDSA National Headquarters: 1-800-345-HDSA or http://www.hdsa.org
- Huntington’s Disease Lighthouse Families: A comprehensive organization devoted to provide reliable information and support to HD families. http://www.hdlf.org
- Huntington’s Disease Youth Organization: Provides education and support for young people impacted by HD. http://en.hdyo.org or email: email@example.com
Reviewing the Coco Movie
Marianne and Charlie both talked about our “class assignment” to watch Coco for this year’s Day of the Dead Celebration. Marianne had never seen it. They also shared about their ofrenda and the stories behind them.
Michael Porter – Reaching out with Love
We had a series of interviews with Michael Porter about his journey as a dementia caregiver. Michael’s wife, Janet, has HD and was diagnosed 12 years ago at age 58. He writes a blog which you can read at reachingout.love.
Charlie read one entry, with Michael’s permission, written 11 years after Janet’s diagnosis. To learn more about Michael Porter’s journey as a caregiver, catch these episodes:
- S3E50: Caring for a Partner with Dementia
- S4E2: What Happens to a Relationship when You Become a Caregiver?
- S4E4: The New Horizon after Spousal Caregiving Duties are Over
- S4E6: The Way Forward after a Spouse Dies
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