Huntinton's disease

How we can help people who have Huntington’s disease

Huntington’s disease is a genetic disorder which affects the individual's central nervous system. The disorder disinhibits nerve cells which affects their activity in the brain. There is no cure for Huntington's disease however there is a large amount of medication available to support the individual with managing their difficulties.

Speech and language therapy can help people who suffer from Huntington's disease by offering support and solutions to communication and swallowing problems.

What is Huntington’s disease?

Huntington’s disease is an inherited condition due to the damage of nerve cells in the brain. Huntington’s disease affects aspects of an individual's movement, cognition and behaviour. One of the most noticeable aspects of Huntington's disease are the uncontrollable jerky movements of the body, this can affect an individual's speech and swallowing as the muscles required for speech can sometimes not be controlled effectively. There is currently no cure for Huntington’s as it is progressive, meaning it will worsen over time.

Speech and language therapy will help patients to cope with their difficulties arising from Huntington’s disease, including speech, language, communication and swallowing difficulties.

What causes Huntington's disease?

Huntington's disease is an inherited condition, meaning that there is a strong family history of the disease. It is cause by the inheritance of an abnormal gene. This abnormal gene causes the part of the brain responsible for motor movement to die.

How is Huntington’s disease diagnosed?

Huntington’s is diagnosed by a neurologist, as part of a multidisciplinary team which may include a speech and language therapist.

The speech and language therapist will assess, identify and treat any speech, language, communication and swallowing difficulties.

What problems caused by Huntington’s disease can SLT UK help with?

Huntington’s disease affects the individual’s movement, cognitive and behavioural difficulties. SLT UK can provide speech and language therapy input to a range of difficulties including attention and listening problems, communication problems, swallowing difficulties, voice and speech problems for those with Huntington’s disease.

What is involved with speech and language therapy at SLT UK?

The speech and language therapist will want to arrange an initial assessment with the individual in order to identify their specific difficulties and establish the individual's goals. The speech and language therapist will then discuss a therapy programme with the individual and any other individuals involved in their care. The speech and language therapist will explain the difficulties the individual is experiencing and provide them with time for questions.

Speech and language therapy programmes are based around the individual’s specific needs and may include one to one therapy, group therapy or online therapy. Our team of speech and language therapists used evidence based practice to tailor the therapy programmes delivered and continuously review in order to ensure the individual's needs are being met.

Generally, speech and language therapy will include assessment, reports, reviews, therapy programmes, support groups, advice, training and education.

What are the benefits to receiving speech and language therapy input at SLT?

Speech and language therapy can be very helpful to someone who has Huntington’s disease. Speech and language therapists will investigate; swallowing, movement, and body language as well as language and speech.

Speech and language therapy may also improve the coping strategies available for those with Huntington’s disease as well as increasing confidence and independence.


There are many different signs and symptoms of Huntington’s disease. Speech and language therapy can help with the communication and swallowing aspects of this as well as some aspects of movement.

If you feel you may benefit from speech and language therapy or would like any more information on our services please email or call 0330 088 5643.

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Worried about your communication?

If you are worried about any aspect of your speech, language and communication, do not hesitate to contact us to speak to one of our passionate speech and language therapists.

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