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22 June 2005

STEVENSON BRINGS TO THE FORE HUNTINGTON’S AWARENESS WEEK

Banff and Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson highlights the importance of Huntington’s Awareness Week which runs from 20th - 27th June.

Commenting on the initiative, Mr Stevenson said:

“Every year, the Huntingdon's Disease Association organises a week of 'grand calorie events' up and down the country to raise awareness of Huntingon's disease (HD) and to help people put on a few pounds. The idea is to teach people that those with HD need extra calories.

“Huntington's disease is an inherited, progressive neuro-psychiatric disorder and every child born to a parent who has Huntington's disease has a 50 per cent risk of inheriting the Huntington's gene. The disease affects males and females equally and currently there are between 6,000 and 10,000 sufferers in the UK.

“Although, at present, there is no cure, the Huntington's Disease Association offers regional care advisers who can provide help and support. It 's important to remember that the condition affects different people in different ways such as people with a progressive form of the disease may experience many different symptoms, such as involuntary movements, difficulty with swallowing and speech, weight loss, emotional changes and depression. Around-the-clock nursing care is needed in the later stages of the disease and secondary illnesses, such as pneumonia, are often the actual cause of death.

“In order to find out more, the Huntington's Disease Association, set up in 1974, is a registered charity supporting families affected by Huntington's. It also provides support, advice and education to professionals caring for families affected by the illness. For further information, call 020 7223 7000 or go to www.hda.org.uk.”
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