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Body Talk - 23rd October

Heather Goodman joined me this evening, she is Secretary and Treasurer of the Chelmsford branch of the Huntingtons Disease Association. This is a disease that I hadn't come across before, but was staggered to learn about. Heather gave us a very clear description of the effects that it has not just on the sufferers but on the carers as well.

Huntingtons Disease is a disease of the brain, and is hereditary. Symptoms usually begin between the ages of 30 and 50, and an individual may live with the disease for around 15 to 20 years.

Symptoms include changes in co-ordination, and involuntary movements. Lack of concentration and short term memory lapses., together with difficulty  thinking through problems and adapting to changing situations.Changes in mood, obsessive compulsive thoughts, hallucinations and delusions.

The Huntingtons Disease Association is there to provide a listening ear. To help families receive support, care and advice, to assist in co-ordinating care, and helping with many other day to day problems.

Heather also told us her own very moving story of how she has had to cope with two of her own children suffering from Huntingtons. Her husband didn't know that his father had died from the disease, and they went on to have five children together before the disease was diagnosed. Heather's story was one of strength and courage, and just illustrates how difficult it can be to be a carer.

If you would like any further information, then email me and I can pass your details on to Heather.

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