As you get older, you may find that you have more concerns when it comes to your physical health. There are many diseases that can impact a person’s life, and their family members. Huntington’s disease can be a challenging diagnosis to process. Though it may take time to get a better understanding of how it affects a person’s body, and may feel overwhelming at first, caring for a loved one with this disease can help improve their quality of life.

Huntington’s disease is a disease that attacks nerve cells in the brain, and it is a genetic disorder. It can cause a variety of symptoms in the body and mind which can progress over time. The sooner a person receives an accurate diagnosis, the better. There is currently no known cure to Huntington’s disease, but there are treatments available to help people cope and manage.

There is a 50% chance that a person who has it will pass the gene on to their offspring, and people who get diagnosed will have a family history with it. It is caused by a mutation in the HTT gene in the brain, which is responsible for caring for nerves in brain cells. Someone who has Huntington’s disease has an HTT gene that attacks these nerve cells rather than aid them, which causes them to break down. The disease was discovered by George Huntington in the 1800s, and it affects an estimated 1 in 10,000 people on the planet.

Support And Comfort 

Since Huntington’s disease has no known cure, and is degenerative in nature, the disease will progress over time. For people who are in later stages of nerve damage, the focus will likely be on improving their quality of life. Be in continued communication with your loved one’s physicians, and also ask them how you can best be a support for them.

For people who take on the role as a primary caregiver for their loved one, you may need to learn new skills in order to help them manage their disease. Huntington’s disease affects a person’s control over their movements, and you may have to lend a helping hand to complete daily tasks and chores. It’s likely you may have to make modifications in your home in order to help your loved one be able to take care of themselves as much as they are able to.

Emotional support will likely also be important for your loved one as they manage the progression of their disease. For many people, not being able to be as active and aware as they were previously can take a toll on their self-esteem. Since people with Huntington’s disease experience a wide range of symptoms, being willing to be a support system for them can help them feel less alone while they cope. Try to approach these conversations with warmth and a listening ear. A person who has been diagnosed with this disease may go through changing emotions on a day to day basis. Being patient and kind can help them feel loved and grounded.


Care For Yourself 

Regardless of your responsibilities when it comes to caring for a loved one with Huntington’s disease, taking care of yourself is important. Make sure to protect your own emotional wellbeing, and reach out for support when you need to. Watching someone you love fight a battle with any chronic illness can have lasting impacts on a person’s mental health.

Be sure to find a routine that works for you. Process difficult emotions with someone you trust, or a licensed therapist that you connect with. Taking time to work through your complicated thoughts and feelings can help protect your wellbeing, and be better able to care for the person that is dealing with Huntington’s disease.

Marie Miguel Biography

Marie Miguel

Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.

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