As a Center of Excellence, Rush helps you manage any stage of Huntington's disease, from before symptoms occur to late-stage disease.
Among the Best in the U.S. for Neurology and Neurosurgery
U.S. News & World Report ranked Rush University Medical Center No. 3 in the country and best in Illinois for neurology and neurosurgery.
The Rush Approach to Huntington's Disease
We provide care to manage Huntington's disease (HD) at each stage, from before symptoms occur through early- to late-stage HD.
At our Center of Excellence in Chicago, we offer a weekly clinic with multiple specialists to address all aspects of Huntington's. These weekly clinics allow us to see you sooner — and with the right specialists — as new or urgent issues arise, such as disability claims issues.
We also have neurologists who can provide you with care in the western suburbs. You have the option to come downtown on a yearly basis to check in with the full team, while seeing your neurologist for regular visits close to home.
At your visits, we discuss any new or changing Huntington's symptoms you or your caregiver have noticed. For example, suicidal thoughts are not uncommon for people with Huntington's. During your visits, we make sure you have the physical, mental and emotional support you need to maintain your quality of life and stay safe.
Rush Excellence in Huntington's Disease Care
- Center of Excellence: Our Chicago location is a Huntington's Disease Society of America Center of Excellence. We have been a Center of Excellence since 2005, and we were the first in Illinois. This means we can offer you comprehensive care from specialists in Huntington's disease, including movement disorder neurologists, neuropsychologists, social workers and more.
- Medication therapy expertise: Currently, the best option for managing Huntington's disease symptoms, such as mood swings and movement-related issues, is with medications. Rush will help you find the right fit for your current needs and continue to adjust your medications as your disease progresses or side effects develop.
- Genetic testing: Our genetic counselors in Chicago can discuss with you the pros and cons of genetic testing for Huntington's. For people who are tested, we talk with you extensively about what your results mean and the next steps you can take based on them. We work closely with Rush reproductive endocrinologists for people interested in starting a family who want preimplantation genetic screening (PGS).
- Holistic care for caregivers and patients: During visits to our downtown center, we talk with patients and caregivers individually to understand how the disease is progressing. For example, if you are having balance or falling issues, we bring in physical or occupational therapists during the visit to make sure you stay safe for as long as possible. And, while your loved one with Huntington's is meeting with a clinician, we offer activities such as horticulture therapy (working with plants) to help ease your caregiver stress.
- Clinical trials and Huntington's research: Ongoing research, including clinical trials, helps our providers gain a better understanding of potential new Huntington treatments. Our goal is to apply future research discoveries to your care where appropriate. Rush providers can speak with you about potential trial options.
- Ongoing emotional support: We know that living with Huntington's can take a heavy toll on both the person who has it and their caregivers. In addition to individual counseling, Rush has support groups where you can share with and hear from other people living with Huntington's. Rush has a general movement disorders support group in Aurora and Yorkville and a Huntington's disease support group in Oak Park.