Ohio State’s Huntington’s Disease Clinic is designated a Center of Excellence by the Huntington’s Disease Society of America, one of only 21 centers in the country to achieve this distinction.
Huntington’s disease is an inherited disease that causes certain nerve cells in the brain to waste away. People are born with the defective gene, but symptoms usually don’t appear until middle age. Early symptoms of Huntington’s disease may include uncontrolled movements, clumsiness and balance problems. Later, Huntington’s disease can take away the ability to walk, talk and swallow. It affects movement, cognitive function and behavior.
If one of your parents has Huntington’s disease, you have a 50 percent chance of getting it. A blood test can determine if you have the Huntington’s disease gene and will develop the disease. Genetic counseling can help you weigh the risks and benefits of taking the test.
Although there is no cure for Huntington’s disease, medication can help manage some of the symptoms. They cannot, however, slow down or stop the disease.
Source: NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Why choose Ohio State for the treatment of Huntington's disease?
Center of Excellence: The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center was first named a Huntington’s Disease Center of Excellence in 2000 by the Huntington’s Disease Society of America and is one of only 21 centers in the country to achieve this distinction. We were chosen because of our state-of-the-art treatment, social and psychological support for patients and their families and contributions to the advancement of education and research in Huntington’s disease.
Dedicated Huntington’s Disease Clinic: In addition to assessments and routine visits, we provide genetic counseling and testing services in our Huntington’s Disease Clinic.
Experience with a Rare Disease: Huntington’s disease affects only about 35,000 people nationwide. Our movement disorders specialists have treated hundreds of patients, giving us familiarity with disease variations and evolution.
Team of Experts: Our resources and expertise for treating Huntington’s disease are unparalleled in central Ohio. Our Huntington’s Disease Clinic team includes:
- Movement disorders specialists, neurologists with fellowship training or extensive clinical experience in movement disorders, such as Huntington’s disease
- Social worker
- Physical, occupational and speech therapists
- Genetic counselor
- Nurse practitioners and a clinic nurse
- Neuropsychiatrist who can help address behavioral issues
- Consultations and coordination of transition of care with a pediatric neurologist from Nationwide Children’s Hospital for those with symptom onset before age 18
Research: We are central Ohio’s only member hospital for the Huntington Study Group, a national consortium of academic centers that offers patients access to clinical trials in search of new and better treatments for the disease.
Physical Therapy Expertise: Our physical therapists specialize in managing movement disorders and are known internationally for their research and work in setting the standard of physical therapy care for Huntington’s disease, particularly in gait (manner of walking) and balance assessment and treatment.