Huntington’s Disease – FDA approval of Tetrabenazine Drug

Huntington’s Disease – FDA approval of Tetrabenazine Drug

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[Best Syndication News] Tetrabenazine was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration which is the first drug that has been approved in the US for treating Huntington’s disease. Currently there is no cure for Huntington’s disease and is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder.

Tetrabenazine has already been used in Europe, Canada, and Australia for treating Huntington’s disease involuntary movements called chorea. There are around 30,000 individuals in the United States that have chorea and could possibly benefit from the new prescription drug. The FDA classified tetrabenazine as an “orphan drug” because of the small numbers of people affected by the disease.

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The study that helped gain the FDA approval was conducted by the Huntington Study Group which is located at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Lead researcher, Frederick J. Marshall, M.D. found that Huntington patients had about a 25 percent reduction in involuntary movements when taking tetrabenazine.

There are side effects from taking tetrabenazine, which include worsening depression and movements can become more difficult. The drug does not slow the progression of the disease nor does it help any other symptoms.

Huntington’s disease often first appears in a person that is in their 30’s and 40’s. Sometime it can appear in childhood and sometimes it won’t develop until old age. The disease causes chorea, cognitive problems, personality changes, and psychiatric problems such as depression.

Huntington’s disease shows a genetic predisposition with a 50 percent chance of inheriting the disorder if they had a parent with the disease. There is a simple blood test a person can take to see if they are at risk for developing the disease, but many don’t want to find out if they will end up like their parents and will wait and see if the disease presents itself.

For more information about Huntington’s Disease please visit http://www.hdsa.org .

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