Huntington’s chorea: symptoms and treatment
The nervous system is one of the most important components of the human body, and the importance of the functions it performs can not be overestimated. And any disruptions in her work can lead to very unpleasant consequences, which will later affect the work of the whole organism. One of the serious diseases associated with the central nervous system is Huntington’s chorea.
This disease is dangerous, primarily because it affects the human psyche, leads to serious violations and degradation of mental abilities. And even the most qualitative treatment available today is not able to cope with this scourge to the end.
Because of what a disease can occur
This disease is genetic and transmitted by inheritance. Of course, this does not mean that Huntington’s disease will definitely be in a child whose relatives have been diagnosed with degenerative chorea, but fall into the risk group:
- Children, one of the parents (or both) who are sick with Huntington’s chorea, and the danger is much greater if the father has a disability.
- Residents of isolated settlements. This increases the risk of marriages between close relatives, and as a consequence, manifestations of genetic diseases.
There are some other patterns: so, for example, the disease is fairly unevenly distributed geographically. Among the inhabitants of Asia, there are far fewer cases of the disease than, for example, in Europe.
How the disease manifests itself
Huntington’s disease can manifest itself at any age: it is possible to detect characteristic disorders in a very small child and in a person in years. But the main symptoms remain unchanged. To them, for example, are:
- Memory problems. This point is rather difficult to track if the disease affected a small child, but in adults such symptoms may indicate significant brain damage.
- It is very difficult for a person to concentrate, his thoughts jump from topic to subject. The fulfillment of monotonous, requiring attentiveness and perseverance of the lessons becomes absolutely impossible.
- Difficulty with speech. As the disease progresses, it becomes more difficult for a person to talk clearly and intelligently, speech becomes incoherent, and the meaning in them is less.
- Characteristic movements. Huntington Huntington contributes to the destruction of brain cells, so that the motor function begins to fail over time. Such symptoms quite accurately indicate that the disease is present.
- Enhanced motor work of the eyes. If, for most mental illnesses, patients look at one point and their eyes stop, as if muddy. For those who suffer from degenerative chorea, the eyes run, not staying long on one subject.
In the most difficult stages of a disease such as Huntington’s chorea, when even supportive treatment is no longer able to slow the progression of the disease, other unpleasant symptoms are added: hallucinations, causeless hysterics and attacks of aggression may occur, complete disintegration of the personality occurs, speech becomes at all So senseless and indistinct.
Methods of diagnosing this disease
Although many symptoms indicate the presence of such a disease as Huntington’s chorea is quite accurate, it is necessary to confirm the diagnosis with special studies. The most basic of them are:
- Magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography. They can see if the ventricles of the brain are enlarged. However, this means that the disease has already developed fairly, and the treatment should have started a long time ago, so this method is not suitable for early detection.
- A genetic test based on a blood test. If no violations are found, then with full confidence you can say that the manifestations of the disease in a person will not be throughout life, but here are false-positive results in this study — not uncommon. The test soon reveals whether there is a probability of the disease.
- Functional neuroimaging. This method is the most effective, as it allows to identify the disease long before the first symptoms appear. This makes it possible to prescribe the treatment in time and start a hard struggle with the disease.
And of course, the family history is collected. But this, alas, is a very approximate way of diagnosing.
Methods of treatment for Huntington’s chorea
Although it is completely impossible to cure Huntington’s disease, it is quite possible to slow down its course. There are the following methods to combat this serious disease:
- Drugs that help cope with involuntary movements. This, as a rule, neuroleptics — Haloperidol or Chlorpromazine. Recently, neuroleptics of a new generation have also been widely used — they are more effective and have fewer side effects.
- Antidepressants. Outbreaks of rage and psychosis are capable of bringing to the patient himself, and those who surround him have a lot of problems. Therefore, the nervous system should be brought into a more peaceful state. However, these drugs are usually quite heavy, so they should be used only in cases when treatment of this kind is extremely necessary.
And, of course, it should be noted that only a highly qualified specialist can find the right treatment. In no case should you take any potent drugs yourself — it can not only not improve, but also greatly worsen the situation. However, these drugs are rarely freely available: they are all sold only if there is an appropriate prescription from the doctor.
What are the predictions for Huntington’s disease
As for the prospects for the development of the disease, in the case of Huntington’s chorea, they are, alas, very disappointing: the maximum life-span of the patient, even taking into account the fact that timely and correct treatment was conducted, is about 15-20 years. At the end of this period a person becomes absolutely helpless. His personality is completely and irretrievably destroyed. Often shortly thereafter, a fatal outcome occurs, with the most frequent reason being suicide. This is due to various reasons: at times the patient understands what awaits him in the future, and does not want to become a burden to others, and sometimes because of illness a person simply does not realize that certain actions can harm himself.
In conclusion, it should be noted that although Huntington’s chorea is a serious disease, and its symptoms are very difficult, you should not give up if the studies confirm its presence. Treatment, prescribed by doctors specializing in this disease, can extend the life span of a very significant extent. And this is already a lot.