If you have any signs or symptoms associated with Huntington's disease, you'll likely be referred to a neurologist after an initial visit to your family doctor.
A review of your symptoms, mental state, medical history and family medical history can all be important in the clinical assessment of a potential neurological disorder.
What you can do
Before your appointment, make a list that includes the following:
- Signs or symptoms — or any changes from "normal" — that may be causing concern
- Recent changes or stresses in your life
- All medications — including over-the-counter drugs and dietary supplements — and doses you take
- Family history of Huntington's disease or other disorders that may cause movement disorders or psychiatric conditions
You may want a family member or friend to accompany you to your appointment. This person can provide support and offer a different perspective on the effect of symptoms on your functional abilities.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, including the following:
July 24, 2014
- When did you begin experiencing symptoms?
- Have your symptoms been continuous or intermittent?
- Has anyone in your family ever been diagnosed with Huntington's disease?
- Has anyone in your family been diagnosed with another movement disorder or psychiatric disorder?
- Are you having trouble performing work, schoolwork or daily tasks?
- Has anyone in your family died young?
- Is anyone in your family in a nursing home?
- Is anyone in your family fidgety or moving all the time?
- Have you noticed a change in your general mood?
- Do you feel sad all of the time?
- Have you ever thought about suicide?
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2014: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2014. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 27, 2014.
- Tabrizi SJ, et al. Predictors of phenotypic progression and disease onset in premanifest and early-stage Huntington's disease in the TRACK-HD study: Analysis of 36-month observational data. The Lancet. 2013;12:637.
- Huntington's disease: Hope through research. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/huntington/huntington.htm. Accessed Jan. 27, 2014.
- Suchowersky O. Huntington disease: Clinical features and diagnosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 27, 2014.
- Huntington disease. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Health Care Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/neurologic_disorders/movement_and_cerebellar_disorders/huntington_disease.html. Accessed Jan. 29, 2014.
- Huntington's disease: A family guide. Huntington's Disease Society of America. http://www.hdsa.org/living-with-huntingtons/publications/index.html. Accessed Jan. 29, 2014.
- Novak MJ, et al. Huntington's disease. British Medical Journal. 2010;340:c3109.
- Suchowersky O. Huntington disease: Management. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 29, 2014.
- Bower JH (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 5, 2014.
- Knopman DS (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 5, 2014.