Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is HD?

HD is a genetic/hereditary disease that affects brain. HD causes dancing like involuntary movements resembling people in drunken state. It also affects emotions, intelligence, memory and perception.

Who can get HD and why?

There is a 50% chance for one to get the disease if one of the parents is affected. In about 10% of cases, it may occur newly in the children of healthy parents. It happens due to increase in the length of CAG repeats due to instability while passing from parents to children.

Where and how can I get tested?

There are many genetic testing centers/lab in India offering HD testing. However, one should consult a doctor before consenting for the test. One should avoid labs/hospitals which offer testing without Genetic counselling. If you do not have symptoms it is even more important to get counselling. Children <18 years should not be tested unless they have symptoms.

What is the treatment for HD?

There are many drugs that control the movements, emotions and other symptoms, however there is no complete cure that can remove the mutation from the patient. Gradually disease increase in severity, more so without any treatment. Life style modifications, using supplements, physio, speech and swallowing therapy are equally useful in HD.

Should we take symptomatic treatment when there is no cure?

Yes, one should definitely take symptomatic treatment as it improves the quality of life and keeps the patients functional.

Which doctors/therapists should we consult and in what order?

Currently in India we are yet to develop multidisciplinary care with different doctors/therapists in the team. One can visit a neurologist or psychiatrist as the primary physician and get referred for therapies based on their needs to different therapists.

How to manage my family member with HD?

Managing HD affected individuals can sometimes be very challenging. But in many cases, negatively reacting to their emotions, arguing for simple things make them more ill and discourage them to lead normal life. With proper care, starting from early stage, many patients lead near normal life for several years.