Duke neurologists use proven methods to diagnose and manage Huntington’s disease; we help people affected by it enjoy a better quality of life. We are North Carolina’s only nationally designated Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA) Center of Excellence, which recognizes expertise in diagnosing and treating Huntington’s disease and emphasizes a cooperative team approach to caring for patients and supporting their caregivers. We provide direct access to providers with movement disorder expertise.
Learn about the care offered here so you can prepare for your appointments.
Our neurologists specializing in movement disorders perform a physical examination and conduct a thorough medical and family history to gather information about symptoms. A care team may also perform the following tests or evaluations to confirm a diagnosis and create a care plan.
Genetic Counseling and Testing
Genetic testing can identify the abnormality that is known to cause Huntington’s disease. We review the findings with you and offer additional genetic counseling when needed.
Cognitive and Behavioral Assessments
Our experts evaluate thinking and behavior, including memory, reasoning, and emotional state. They will establish a baseline status so they can measure changes as the disease progresses. For people who are struggling at work, neuropsychologic memory testing can be key in obtaining disability benefits.
We will examine any balance and walking issues, as well as fine motor movements, to develop a care plan.
Why Choose Duke
Access to Top Doctors and Innovative Research
Our experts are always striving to improve care for Huntington’s disease. Duke neurologists, neurobiologists, and their associates have recently pioneered breakthrough research suggesting that existing drugs intended for other conditions (like cancer or diabetes) may hold promise as therapies for Huntington’s disease.
Because Huntington’s disease can affect the body in many ways, our team includes neurologists, psychiatrists, physical therapists, speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, and social workers who customize a treatment plan specific to your needs.
Adjusting to a Huntington’s disease diagnosis or caring for a loved one with the disease can be difficult, confusing, and emotionally draining, especially because there is no cure at this time (although there is hope for a cure or improved treatments in the future). Our social workers get to know you and your family, host support groups, work to find resources in your community, and strive to improve your quality of life, no matter how Huntington’s disease affects you personally.
Duke participates in clinical trials seeking new, more effective ways to manage and treat Huntington’s disease. Our dedicated clinical trial coordinator is available to enroll and guide participants through the process.
Regional Referral Center
People with Huntington’s disease are referred to Duke from all over the surrounding region, including southern Virginia and northern South Carolina. Our status as a regional referral center speaks to our experience and expertise.