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Dr. Adam Rosenblatt, the clinical director of the Baltimore Huntington's Disease Center at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and the Medical Advisor to the Maryland Chapter of the Huntington's Disease Society of America.

Adam Rosenblatt, M.D. is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Division of Neurobiology and Division of Geriatric and Neuropsychiatry. He attended Yale University and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine where he also received his residency training before joining the faculty. Dr. Rosenblatt is the author of more than 40 articles, books and chapters on Huntington's disease, dementia and various topics in neuropsychiatry.

Dr. Rosenblatt says that early on, there aren't too many problems, so you usually don't need to intervene. He says as the disease progresses, involuntary movements may become more of a problem, and those can be controlled. Throughout the progression of the disease, he says, psychiatric problems can occur. He notes that depression is particularly frequent, with between half of Huntington's patients showing signs of depression.
Dr. Rosenblatt notes that he doesn't think the frequency is due to people being upset at their diagnosis, but that part of the brain is being affected and that leads to depression. He says that treating the depression is usually highly beneficial. Dr. Rosenblatt says that once the symptoms appear, people with Huntington's disease tend to live another 15 to 20 years.
Dr. Rosenblatt says that, while families are sometimes prepared for taking care of ill relatives as they age, they are not usually prepared to take care of younger afflicted family members. He adds that since Huntington's strikes in mid life, it's often an important breadwinner or parent of young children who is affected.
Dr. Rosenblatt says that he sees no reason to believe that people are aware of what's going on in the late stages of the disease. He says that he has noticed the phenomenon of changing demographics, though says deciding whether or not to marry and have children is a highly individual decision.

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