Huntington's Disease affects about 30,000 people in the United States and about 200,000 are at risk.
Kathleen Delp, a licensed clinical social worker and certified genetics counselor at Spectrum Health, explains what the disease is, symptoms to look out for, and a special informational event coming up.
Huntington's Disease is a progressive inherited neurological disease that includes cognitive decline, involuntary movements and balance problems, and mood changes.
Most people don't start showing symptoms until they are between 40 to 60-years-old. Children have a 50 percent chance of getting the disease if their parents have it.
At Spectrum Health, they have a genetics program that has a diagnostic test that can search for signs of Huntington's Disease. Genetic counselors will provide patients and their families with information on where they can seek help.
These rehabilitation services work to help patients improve their balance, speech, and assist in any other activities to daily living so the patients can live in their home as long as possible.
While there are treatments for the movements and emotional symptoms of Huntington's Disease, there is no cure.
On Monday, May 22, Spectrum Health is hosting a conference at Watermark Country Club from 3 to 8 p.m. Anyone impacted by Huntington's Disease is invited to learn more about how to sustain hope for the future and improve quality of life with the disease.
Topics at the conference will include genetic testing, rehabilitation treatments, the role of advocacy, and how to access clinical trials.
Registration costs $10 and includes dinner. To register, visit spectrumhealth.org/huntingtonsevent.
To learn more about this event, or for more information about how to move forward with Huntington's disease, call (616)-391-8664.