Exercise for People living with Huntington's Disease

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Exercise for People living with Huntington's Disease by Mind Map: Exercise for People living with Huntington's Disease

1. Research

1.1. Little research has been conducted for the benefits of exercise for people living with the Huntington's Disease.

1.2. However, families of those who have the disease have good reasons to believe that fitness and exercise may be helpful:

1.2.1. Exercise has physical, emotional and cognitive benefits in the general public.

1.2.2. Exercise has been shown to improve functional capacity in other neurological diseases.

1.2.3. Studies on mouse models with Huntington's found exercise delayed the onset symptoms, improved cognition, and raised levels of BDNF, a chemical that helps to protect the brain.

1.2.4. A case study of a patient with Huntington's found that a seven week program of twice weekly aerobic and anaerobic exercises resulted in greater strength, improved balance, and fewer falls.

2. Workout Components

2.1. For the greatest impact, the exercise program should address the persons abilities, likes and functional challenges

2.2. An ideal workout would involve:

2.2.1. A warm up

2.2.2. Tai Chi

2.2.3. Yoga

2.2.4. Free Weights

2.2.5. Pulleys

2.2.6. Cardiovascular Walking Exercise Bike Walking in and out of pool

2.3. Each workout program listed will help develop muscular strength and improve balance, as well as functional skills

3. Intensity

3.1. Ideally the person with Huntington's should be at a level 13 (Somewhat Hard) on the Borg RPE Scale

3.2. Be mindful of the following symptoms of over-exertion:

3.2.1. Shortness of breath

3.2.2. Excessive Fatigue

3.2.3. Paleness

3.2.4. Dizziness

3.2.5. An increase in symptoms including involuntary movement

3.3. If at any point the person feels short of breath or cannot breathe, they should immediately stop, rest, and consult their doctor

4. Cardiovascular

4.1. Walking

4.1.1. Can be done on a track, around the block, or at a near by mall.

4.1.2. Start with 10 minutes per day, 3 days a week.

4.1.3. Gradually increase the walking speed and pace to the point where the person builds up a sweat but is not out of breath.

4.2. Exercise Bike

4.2.1. Start off with 10 minutes of biking, 3 times a week.

4.2.2. Same as walking, start of slow, choosing a comfortable resistance, and gradually picking up the pace.

4.3. Aquatic Exercise

4.3.1. Begin with exercises such as standing in waist-deep water and kicking one leg at a time out to the side.

4.3.2. Follow with a few laps around the pool. If involuntary moments make swimming too difficult, use a kick board to support the upper body.

5. Frequency and Duration

5.1. The American College of Sports Medicine suggests the following general exercise guidelines:

5.1.1. 3 workouts per week.

5.1.2. 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise within the aerobic training zone (50-80% of age-predicted maximum heart rate) per session.

5.1.3. 2 sets of each weight training exercise, with a maximum of 10 repetitions per set.

5.2. Keep in mind that shorter, more frequent exercise sessions may be less tiring for people with Huntington's.

6. Safety

6.1. First and for most, before beginning an exercise program, the person with Huntington's should discuss it with their doctor.

6.2. Make sure the person understands how to use the equipment safely and how to perform each exercise correctly.

6.3. A personal trainer can offer education and adapt the program and movements as needed.

6.4. Due to the symptoms of Huntington's (involuntary movements, reduced coordination, and problems with balance) not all equipment will be suitable for the person.

7. Ensuring Success

7.1. In addition to causing motor symptoms. Huntington's affect the parts of the brain involved in motivation and initiating activity.

7.2. To help overcome these barriers, focus the exercise program on activities the person enjoys and, if possible, involve the caregiver and/or family members.

8. Adjusting the program

8.1. Because Huntington's Disease is a progressive disease, it is important to re-assess the program regularly to make sure it continues to suit the person's needs and functional abilites.

9. Background

9.1. Huntington's Disease, or HD for short, was first recognized as an inherited disorder in 1872 when a 22-year old American doctor, George Huntington, wrote a paper called On Chorea. His paper was later published in the Medical and Surgical Reporter of Philadelphia and the disorder he described became known as the Huntington's Chorea.

9.2. "Chorea" comes from the Latin and Greek terms meaning "chorus or group of dances."

9.3. In the 1700's, people with chorea, like involuntary movements, were often thought to be possessed by devils. It is believed the one of the alleged "witches" executed in Salem, Massachusetts in the 1690's had HD.

9.4. Today the term Huntington's Disease is more commonly used than Huntington's Chorea.

9.5. The discovery of the HD gene in 1993 was a major milestone. The scientific community worked very hard to find the gene and the process was long and tedious, requiring great patience and perseverance.

10. Citation

10.1. Group, E. P. (2010, June). Exercise for People Living with Huntington Disease. Retrieved from Huntington Society of Canada.

10.2. Phillips, D. H. (2016). What is the history of Huntington's Disease. Retrieved from Huntington's New South Wales: http://www.huntingtonsnsw.org.au/information/hd-facts/history