HUNTINGTON’S DISEASE

About the Condition

Huntington’s disease is an inherited genetic disorder causing the degeneration of nerve cells in the brain resulting in involuntary movements and neuromuscular deterioration.

Symptoms

  • Symptoms typically begin to appear between twenty and forty years of age.
  • Involuntary trunk and arm movement.
  • Walking with a wide, uneven stride.
  • Depression.
  • Irritability.
  • General changes to personality that eventually progress to dementia.
  • More prone to infection and illness.
  • Especially difficult resisting respiratory infections.
  • Leads individual to become physically weaker and more debilitated.

Useful Tips for Patients & Caregivers

Make sure patient’s vaccinations are up to date and that they get a flu shot every year and a pneumonia shot as needed.

The following tips may help too:

  • Identify stressors and do what you can to avoid them.
  • Break tasks down into simpler, more manageable steps.
  • Find ways to stimulate the mind.
  • Be familiar with end of life care, including hospice, advance directives, living wills and care homes.

SPECIALIST SEATING CAN HELP

Jonathan Tierney explains how Seating Matters have helped patients with Huntington’s Disease, in particular by using our specialist ‘Magic Chair’ the Atlanta™.

WATCH VIDEO

SEATING PATIENTS WITH COMPLEX NEEDS

When seating patients with complex conditions such as Huntington’s Disease, their needs are often challenging and severe.  Read Martina’s top tips.

READ BLOG

Selecting the Right Chair

It is very important that the chair is adjustable to allow it to meet the changing needs of the person as their condition changes.  For patients with Huntington’s disease, the chair will need to become more supportive as time goes on and it is good to start with a chair that can you can add accessories to as new symptoms arise.

The Atlanta™ in particular was designed by Martina Tierney OT to suit the needs of those with Huntington’s Disease.  Individuals with Huntington’s are often very challenging to seat and can hurt themselves whilst sitting in their chairs.  The Seating Matters Atlanta provides a safe, padded seated position that is comfortable and robust enough to withstand constant, vigorous, involuntary movements.  The high arm rests and ramped seat on the Atlanta provide a safe position without the patient feeling like they are being restrained in their seat.

Bear in mind, each person is different and so you must use clinical judgement, knowledge of the patient, environmental considerations and personal preferences before deciding on which Seating Matters chair to use.