Understanding Huntington's Disease

Huntington's Disease Complications

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After Huntington's disease starts, a patient's ability to function progressively worsens. The rate of duration and progression varies from patient to patient. From the disease's emergence to a person's death is a rate of around ten to thirty years. When the diagnosis is juvenile Huntington's disease, death usually occurs within ten years of the first symptom manifestation. Since many Huntington's patients have clinical depression or bipolar disorder, there's a higher risk of suicide. 

There's research indicating the greatest suicide risk occurs prior to diagnosis and in the middle stages of the condition when patients are starting to lose their independence. Individuals with Huntington's disease eventually need help with all day-to-day care and living activities. In the late stages, patients tend to be confined to bed and unable to speak. Death is commonly caused by injuries related to falls, pneumonia, other infections, or complications due to trouble with swallowing.

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