Exercise as it relates to Disease/Exercise and it effects on the symptoms of Huntingtons's disease
What is Huntington's Disease?Edit
Huntington's disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative genetic disorder causing the death of brain cells in certain areas of the brain. Resulting in gradual loss of cognitive, physical and emotional function. This impacts the individuals ability to participate freely in the community dependent on what stage of HD they are currently in.
Symptoms can begin to appear when the person is in their thirties or forties. they may include
- Random, jerky, Uncontrollable movement (Chorea)
- Mild twitching of the fingers and toes
- Lack of coordination and a tendency to knock things over
- Walking difficulties
- Speech and swallowing difficulties.
- Short-term memory loss
- Difficulties in concentrating and making plans.
- Mood swings, apathy and aggression.
Exercise and Huntingtons DiseaseEdit
Many different studies have looked at the effects of varying exercise interventions for Huntington's Disease. Most look at Physical therapy or some kind of rehabilitation program. As exercise has been shown to at least maintain or even improve brain health/volume in healthy demographics, research results have varied between studies, because HD can vary so much between people and again as to what stage they are at. As HD is not something that can be cured at the moment, the main goal for a lot of programs is to help manage and minimise the impact of the disease on their everyday life and allow them to participate in the community. Although studies have shown improvement in individuals, it is accepted that further research is required to see if these improvements are maintained or if continual therapy/exercise is required.
As HD can vary between individual, consideration of such factors as stage of HD and motivation of the individual to participate need to be taken into account. For those mild to moderately affected by HD, a home exercise regime focused on balance, co-ordination and flexibility can help manage the symptoms of HD. As for those with mid to late stage HD further research is required into possible intervention.
- Huntingtons Victoria, http://www.huntingtonsvic.org.au/
- Medical News Today, http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/159552.php
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