Erlanger Health System announced the opening of the Erlanger Huntington’s Disease Clinic at the Erlanger Medical Mall.
The Erlanger Huntington’s Disease Clinic is a Level I Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA) Center of Excellence.
The clinic is a partnership with Vanderbilt Medical Center and the University of Tennessee Knoxville Medical Center and is funded through a grant from the HDSA. Services include clinical, social and clinical research opportunities along with physical, occupational and speech therapy. The goal is to increase access to the multidisciplinary clinical care and services for those affect by Huntington’s disease (HD).
“We want our patient’s to receive the most comprehensive care and are excited to be able to provide that care closer to home,” said Dr. Elizabeth Ferluga, director of Erlanger’s Huntington’s Disease Clinic. “Previously, our HD patients had to travel or just did not have access to the level of care we are now providing at Erlanger. It is important that we help our patients and their families to live with this debilitating disease.”
On Oct. 6, Erlanger’s Neurosciences department will host a HD Education day at Erlanger East Hospital. The program will cover cognitive and psychiatric changes along the life of the disease and establish a support group for those affected and their caregivers. The program is free and open to the public.
Huntington’s disease is an inherited disorder that causes the progressive degeneration of the movement centers of the brain and can affect both the physical and mental abilities of patients. While typically the motor symptoms do not appear until middle age, the psychological and cognitive sympto ms can manifest many years prior. If one parent has HD, there is a 50 percent chance of inheriting the faulty gene that causes it. A blood test can determine if a patient has the HD gene and will develop the disease. For more information about HD or the Erlanger Huntington’s Disease Clinic, please visit www.erlanger.org/HDClinic or call 423-778-9001.