Stanford Center for Memory Disorders

Treatment Options for Huntington's Disease

You can’t cure or slow the progression of Huntington’s disease, but doctors can offer medications to help with certain symptoms.

Drugs like haloperidol, tetrabenazine, and amantadine are especially helpful for controlling the unusual movements caused by Huntington’s disease. Haloperidol and tetrabenazine can also help offset hallucinations and delusional thoughts. Depression and suicide are common among those with Huntington’s disease, and antidepressants and antianxiety medications may be prescribed to treat these symptoms.

Managing Huntington’s disease

As Huntington’s disease progresses, constant assistance and supervision is often necessary because of the debilitating nature of the disease. People usually die from the disease within 15 to 20 years of developing symptoms.

If you have been diagnosed with or are at risk for Huntington’s disease, it is critical to maintain physical fitness as best you can. People who exercise regularly and stay active tend to do better than those who don’t.

A number of studies are currently underway to examine possible therapies for Huntington’s disease. Talk with your doctor about whether any of these therapies may be helpful to you or a loved one with the disorder.

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