Preparing for your appointment

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:

  • 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?
June 13, 2017
References
  1. Ferri FF. Huntington's disease. In: Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2017. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2017. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Feb. 24, 2017.
  2. Dayalu P, et al. Huntington disease: Pathogenesis and treatment. Neurologic Clinics. 2015;33:1.
  3. Huntington's disease: Hope through research. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Hope-Through-Research/Huntingtons-Disease-Hope-Through. Accessed Feb. 24, 2017.
  4. A physician's guide to the management of Huntington's disease. Huntington's Disease Society of America. http://hdsa.org/shop/publications/. Accessed Feb. 24, 2017.
  5. National Library of Medicine. Huntington disease. Genetics Home Reference. https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/huntington-disease. Accessed Feb. 24, 2017.
  6. Suchowersky O. Huntington disease: Clinical features and diagnosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 24, 2017.
  7. Suchowersky O. Huntington disease: Management. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 24, 2017.
  8. Riggin EA. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 6, 2017.
  9. Knopman DS (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Mar. 5, 2017.