To manage the symptoms of Huntington's Disease and help patients gain better control over their movements and moods, various medical treatments are available.
Unfortunately, Huntington's Disease, formerly known as Huntington's Chorea, is still incurable. While there is currently no cure, different treatments can reduce its various manifestations and prevent potential complications that could be fatal to the patient.
To assist patients with Huntington's Disease in gaining better control over their movements and maintaining emotional stability, physicians may recommend various medications:
Antipsychotics such as haloperidol, olanzapine, or chlorpromazine are recommended if the patient experiences severe delusions or hallucinatory episodes.
Tranquilizers like paroxetine, benzodiazepines, beta-blockers, or venlafaxine may be necessary when the patient's behavior becomes unmanageable.
Botulinum toxin can help reduce dystonia, a condition characterized by involuntary muscle contractions leading to abnormal postures. Dystonia can be accompanied by tremors. Botulinum toxin can prevent muscle contractions, especially in the jaw.
Antidepressants like sertraline hydrochloride, nortriptyline, or fluoxetine are used when the Huntington's Disease patient suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorders. In addition to these antidepressants, mood-stabilizing medications such as lithium, carbamazepine, or valproate are often prescribed.
Tetrabenazine is used to treat involuntary movements associated with Huntington's Disease. However, this medication can only be administered at very low doses due to its numerous side effects, such as nausea, hyperexcitability, extreme fatigue, and strong drowsiness. Administered at excessively high doses, this medication could even increase the risk of severe depression.
Patients with Huntington's Disease require close monitoring of their nutrition, including adequate fluid intake to prevent dehydration and high-nutrient foods.
Eating can be challenging for Huntington's Disease patients due to practical difficulties related to their lack of coordination. They often experience swallowing difficulties, increasing the risk of choking. Caregivers of Huntington's Disease patients should cut food into small pieces or use a blender before serving.
Supplements are frequently prescribed for these patients. In cases where patients have lost muscle function, tube feeding, such as a gastric tube, may be used.
To improve their quality of life and maintain physical abilities for as long as possible, individuals with Huntington's Disease are encouraged to engage in physical activities, preferably in the company of others. This can help maintain social interaction for as long as possible.
Walking should be encouraged with precautions to minimize the risk of falling.
Additionally, participating in various leisure activities can help maintain a positive outlook.
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