Northwestern Medicine Launches Huntington’s Disease Center

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Center will provide collaborative, comprehensive treatment for one of the most devastating genetic neurological disorders

CHICAGO – Northwestern Medicine® recently launched a multidisciplinary center dedicated to the comprehensive treatment of patients battling Huntington’s disease. The new center will focus on both patient care and research of the inherited disease that causes the progressive breakdown of nerve cells in the brain. 

“The very complex nature of Huntington’s requires a collaboration of top experts in the fields of neurology, psychiatry, genetics, social work and more,” said Tanya Simuni, MD, director of the Northwestern Medicine Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center. “We have those people and that collaboration at Northwestern Medicine. We also have scientists at the forefront of Huntington’s disease research. This comprehensive center offers participation in clinical trials, which is an important step in improving the quality of life for patients with Huntington’s disease and one day finding a cure.”

In the United States, about 30,000 people have Huntington’s disease. For these patients, brain cells, or neurons, in certain areas of the brain start to break down. As the neurons degenerate, the disease can lead to emotional disturbances, loss of intellectual abilities and uncontrolled movement. A parent with Huntington disease has a 50 percent chance of passing the disease on to their child. A blood test can determine if someone has the gene and will develop the disease. There is no cure for Huntington’s disease and while medicine can help manage some of the symptoms, it cannot slow down or stop the disease.

“With this new center our goal is to improve the quality of care for patients in every stage of this disease,” said Danny Bega, MD, director of the Huntington’s Disease clinic at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “While there is no cure for Huntington’s, our team of experts work with patients to cope with the emotional challenges of living with Huntington’s while also finding the best medications to treat symptoms. We provide support for not only those dealing with the disease but also their families and loved ones.”

For more information on the Northwestern Medicine Huntington’s Disease Center, click here. To make an appointment, please call (312) 695-7950.

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Source: Northwestern Medicine

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