| Intermediate stages
As the disease progresses, the symptoms become worse. The initial motor
symptoms will gradually develop into more obvious involuntary movements such as jerking and twitching of the head, neck, arms
and legs. These movements may interfere with walking, speaking and swallowing.
People at this stage of Huntington's often look as if they're
drunk: they stagger when they walk and their speech is slurred. They have increasing difficulty working or managing a household,
but can still deal with most activities of daily living.
Late Intermediate Stage
The person can no longer work and/or manage household responsibilities.
They need considerable help or supervision to handle daily financial affairs. Other daily activities may be slightly difficult
but usually only require minor help.
In the middle stage involuntary movements (chorea) may become more pronounced. A staggering
gait can sometimes be mistaken for drunkenness.
Speech and swallowing will begin to be affected. It is important to consult a speech therapist
who will be able to offer suggestions and strategies for improving communication and swallowing abilities. Likewise, occupational
and physical therapists can develop programs to help maintain the highest level of functioning and thereby improve quality
Thinking and reasoning skills will also gradually diminish. At this stage it may become
increasingly difficult to hold a job and to carry out household responsibilities.
Here again, simple strategies may be employed to help decrease frustration, increase functioning
and prolong independence. For example, disorientation and short-term memory loss can be addressed by labeling drawers, maintaining
a daily routine and posting a calendar appointments and events.