Misconceptions of People with Huntingtons Disease

The thing my mother regretted the most was that no one understood what she suffered from. Either they had never heard of it, or they had their own misinformed view, or they didn’t believe it existed. Some people she met when she would go out would speak to her as if she was a child. Huntington’s does not damage your intelligence per se, but indirectly. The part of your brain that we would consider having the IQ, the frontal lobe, isn’t damaged itself but affected by damage to other parts, mainly the basal ganglia.

The best way to explain the behavioral and cognitive changes is to picture a company. The boss is the frontal lobe, part of the brain that controls high intellect. Part of the basal ganglia called the caudate, which suffers the most damage, is the secretary because it delivers messages from the senses and the rest of the basal ganglia and organizes them The rest of the basal ganglia is like a foreman for a work crew, as it controls a lot of the muscle movements and receives some signals from the senses, muscles and nerves. The muscles, nerves, and the rest of the body can be considered your work crew.

With the basal ganglia, especially the caudate within it, being the most affected, you have a company with a damaged foreman and secretary. The work crew is sending messages about depth perception, sight and sound, and things like the expression on a person’s face when they are teasing you. The secretary is either not sending these signals the way they were received or is disorganizing them. The boss cannot decide on an appropriate response to the person talking to you that is teasing if the secretary merely sends the exact words, but not the joking tone or the smile it was said with. The boss might have no other way to see it but that this person is verbally attacking them and then decide to become angry. And in cases the boss decides to stay angry for awhile because the secretary does not give the message that the responses have worked and it is okay to stop being angry. The boss assumes that the person they are angry with hasn’t got the message yet, so it is not time to stop being angry.

Also, people with Huntington’s do not have exactly the same memory problems as those with Alzheimer’s. With Alzheimer’s , both recognition and recall can be damaged. Not so with Huntington’s. Recognition is still there, recall is what is damaged. This means that the information is still in the filing cabinet, but the boss has a hard time finding it because the secretary has no organization system. But as soon as you hand the boss the information, in this case jog a person’s memory by giving cues, the boss immediately recognizes it, knows what it is and understands it. It was just hard to pull up. This is why if you ask a person with Huntington’s what they had for breakfast they may not be able to tell you, but give them choices and they will. Without choices, the boss can’t rely on the secretary’s filing cabinet to help find the right answer. The boss has to run down the entire list of everything possible to have for breakfast to find the right one. With choices, many of the possibilities have been eliminated. This is also why it is hard to make decisions when you have Huntington’s. The boss isn’t getting enough information to make an informed choice quickly.

People with Huntington’s are characterized as being stubborn or mean. The problems discussed in the previous paragraphs can shed some light on this stigma. One, it is hard enough to make a decision without giving up or being distracted. This is why it seems a Huntington’s patient has a one track mind. They have to stick to one subject, decision, problem, etc at a time, otherwise nothing will get done. As for being mean, that can be explained by the example given above that relates the person staying angry because they could not tell if the intended target had noticed they were angry.

So, to sum it up, if someone asks me if Huntington’s damages a person’s intelligence, the answer is yes and no. It doesn’t damage your IQ, or the frontal lobe, so no. But it makes it to where you cannot make the full use of your intellect, so yes.

If you wish to donate to help work toward’s a cure, contact the Huntington’s Disease Society of America. This explanation was inspired by much research, a great deal of which came from the HOPES group at Stanford University. They came up with the frontal lobe=boss and caudate=secretary metaphor, and I ran with it, added a bit to the metaphor and added my own experiences and examples. If you wish to contact me, reach me through my father’s store at, [http://www.bargainbedding4u.com].

Recuperate Your Senses by Staying at Huntington Beach Hotels

Located in Orange County in Southern California, Huntington Beach city has long been a major tourist attraction for people from all parts of the world. With over 15 percent of the city being water, this place offers the ideal holiday destination for those looking for sun and sand. In addition to mesmerizing surroundings, the climate of this place adds another reason to spend your holidays here. A typical day in Huntington Beach city commences with pleasant breezes to stir you from your ‘sleep mode’ in the gentlest way possible. The daytime is sunny yet cool and calm, offering the perfect feel for a perfect vacation.

Owing to the popularity gained, the city now has several highly luxurious Huntington Beach hotels for you to choose from. These hotels offer a host of amenities to have you experience the most remarkable vacation ever. These amenities range from in-room facilities such as free Local calls and high speed internet, satellite TV reception, laundry and ironing, wake up calls, and the likes to common amenities such as heated swimming pool, central air conditioning, spa treatments, and many other extremely useful services.

In addition to offering rooms at conventional rates, some of the leading Huntington Beach hotels also offer special packages to let you experience maximum value for your money. These packages will be particularly beneficial for you if you are with your family or a group of friends. By opting for such special packages, you will be able to experience a number of services at extremely nominal charges. These services may range from an exotic continental breakfast to a free spa treatment, letting you select suitable services as per your taste and budget.

In a nutshell, it won’t be an overstatement to say that all leading hotels promise a memorable vacation for your near and dear ones. If you are thinking about visiting this remarkable city and stay at one of the luxurious hotels it has to offer, you can find several travel agents offering bundled vacation packages to this destination. However, if experiencing the most convenient way of planning a visit sounds like a good idea, it is recommended that you make the reservations online as going the virtual way saves you from all the troubles accompanying the traditional route.

However, in order to ensure that you are opting for one of the best Huntington Beach hotels, it is recommended that you go through the customer reviews received by as many hotels as you can before making your final pick.

Coping With Huntington’s Disease

Huntington’s disease, also known as Huntington’s chorea, is a degenerative neurological disease in which cells in the brain slowly deteriorate until they cease to function. Huntington’s is classified as an autosomal dominant disease which means that a child can inherit the disease if only one parent carries the abnormal gene. It is estimated that one in ten thousand people are afflicted with this disease, of which sixteen percent of those cases are juvenile onset. Although there is currently no cure for this terminal disease, there are many treatments to relieve symptoms and much research being done to hopefully one day find an end to the suffering of its captives.

There are many physical and mental symptoms that characterize this deadly disease. Early mental symptoms include: anger, depression, sudden mood swings, and difficulty making decisions and learning new information. Patients may often develop bi-polar like symptoms with manic and depressive phases. Physical symptoms include: balancing problems, involuntary facial movements, jaw clenching, and sudden changes in handwriting. Later symptoms can include: severe coordination problems, rapid eye movements, slurred speech, swallowing problems, and dementia. Symptoms of Huntington’s disease typically will not appear until around or after the age of forty.

There are many tests in which doctors can use to diagnose Huntington’s disease. First, there is a physical exam where the physician will test motor skills and functions. Also the doctor will take down and medical history of the patient and the family. They may perform a CT or MRI scan to check areas of the brain for neurological problems. Doctors may also request the patient have a blood test to screen for the Huntington’s gene. Based on these tests a physician may refer the patient to other specialists that can further help the patient through the difficult process of treating this disease.

Although Huntington’s is incurable, research and technology are bringing doctors and scientists closer to better treatments and possibly a cure for this disease. Physicians often recommend that patients stay on regular schedule medications to treat many of the symptoms that may hinder the normal functions of everyday life. The first drug approved by the FDA to directly treat many of Huntington’s symptoms was Tetrabenazine. Doctors may also prescribe tranquilizers such as Klonopin and antipsychotics such as Halopendol to control movement, hallucinations, and violent outbursts. Scientists are also researching into treatments involving stem cells and combination’s of other drugs used to treat other terminal diseases.

Although medication is very effective in treating symptoms of this disease, there are many things a patient can be doing at home to keep healthier longer. Because this disease causes motor degeneration, patients should be exercising everyday to help keep their muscles and motor function strong. Patients should also maintain a healthy diet which should also involve extra vitamin supplements. People with Huntington’s often burn over 4,000 calories a day so they need extra nutrients to maintain a healthy weight. Those affected also may experience dehydration and should make sure they consume extra fluids to avoid this. Physical and speech therapy are also recommended to help combat the strong effects of this disease.