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Clinical care and management
J10 Speech and language therapy guidelines for Huntington's disease patients
  1. A-W Heemskerk1,2,
  2. A Hamilton3,
  3. D Rae4,5,
  4. S A Simspon4,5
  1. 1Department of Neurology, Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC), Leiden, The Netherlands
  2. 2Huntingtoncentre Topaz Overduin, Katwijk, The Netherlands
  3. 3Department of Speech and Language Therapy, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK
  4. 4Department of Clinical Genetics, NHS Grampian, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK
  5. 5University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK

Abstract

Background Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) has an important role in the management of Huntington's disease (HD). During the progression of the disease, HD patients will experience communication problems, language difficulties, dysarthria and dysphagia. Therefore, regular assessment and review by a SLT is an essential component of the management in HD. However, there are no European guidelines for the management of HD patients.

Methods As part of the European Huntington's Disease Network (EHDN) Standards of Care Working Group, a specialist interest group in Speech and Language Therapy has been created with the aim of developing evidence-based clinical guidelines as well as identifying areas for further research. The currently available literature has been systematically reviewed, and expert clinicians participating in the group have contributed their consensus view for the clinical management of these difficulties in HD.

Results A Speech and Language Therapy guideline, which has been developed by the European Huntington's Disease Network, Standards of Care, Speech and Language Therapy Group.

Conclusion The Speech and Language Therapy guideline shows the need for special care and treatment. The guidance document can be a point of reference for the speech and language therapy practice. For other clinicians and physicians involved in the management of HD, this guide will offer an invaluable insight into the role of the SLT and present assessment and referral criteria.

  • Speech and language therapy
  • Huntington's disease
  • guidelines

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