Huntington's disease treatment

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Huntington's disease is characterised by severe damage to the central nervous system. The reason is the changes in the human genome, which are hereditary. Treatment aims only to reduce symptoms and improve quality of life, but there can be no complete cure. Medical treatment includes neuroleptics, Tetmodis, benzodiazepine, valproic acid drugs, and antidepressants.

Huntington's chorea (or Huntington's disease) is a slowly progressive nervous system lesion accompanied by violent movements, mental disorders and dementia. This pathology occurs with a frequency of 1-7 cases per 100,000 population.

The disease's leading cause is a mutation of the short arm of the 4th chromosome, which is inherited. In this area, a gene is responsible for synthesising a specific protein - Huntingtin. The exact function of this protein is currently unknown. Still, it is associated with a toxic effect on brain structures, resulting in neuronal atrophy.

Most often, the disease manifests at the age of 30-50. Neurologists report that chorea (violent, uncontrolled and erratic movements) is the most characteristic sign. Initially, the disease may manifest as restlessness, small involuntary or incomplete moves, incoordination, and slow, sudden eye activities. Gradually, all functions that require muscle control are disturbed: a person begins to grimace and experiences problems with chewing and swallowing. Finally, as a result of rapid eye movement, sleep disturbances occur. Depression, panic disorders, obsessions and a tendency to aggression may also appear.

Doctors prescribe additional examinations to detail the patient's condition and establish a final diagnosis: CT and MRI allow the detection of brain atrophy; functional MRI and positron emission tomography (PET) in Huntington's chorea demonstrate specific changes in brain activity in the early stages of development. A genetic test aims to identify the number of specific changes in the huntingtin protein.

Today, the chorea is incurable, and all therapy aims to maintain the highest possible quality of human life. Along with drugs, physiotherapy and exercise make it possible to counteract hyperkinesis, maintain independence, activity, and an acceptable quality of life longer. One of the most modern methods is stem cell therapy for Huntington's disease. Scientists prove that it promotes the regeneration of new nerve cells instead of those undergoing atrophy.

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5 countries and 15 cities for Huntington's disease