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VUMC’s Huntington’s Disease Clinic recognized

Feb. 26, 2015, 9:34 AM

Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Huntington’s Disease Clinic has been named a 2015 Center of Excellence by the Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA).

One of 29 Centers nationwide and the only in Tennessee, the Vanderbilt HD clinic is recognized for “an elite team approach to Huntington’s disease care and research.”

The HDSA said at these world-class facilities, patients benefit from expert neurologists, psychiatrists, therapists, counselors and other professionals who have deep experience working with families affected by HD and who work collaboratively to help families plan the best HD care program throughout the course of the disease.

“We are honored by the HDSA to be given this center recognition. HD is a condition that requires a team effort, and this designation reflects the dedication of our team to our patients,” said Daniel Claassen, M.D., M.S., assistant professor of Neurology and director of the clinic.

Huntington’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by poor muscle coordination, cognitive decline and psychiatric issues, typically with a middle age onset. Though it is rare in the general population, affected parents have a 50 percent chance of passing the disease on to their children.

Vanderbilt’s HD Clinic, founded in 2013, includes a team of physicians, plus a nurse, social worker, dietitian and genetic counselor. Though there is no cure for HD, the multi-disciplinary clinic offers a range of options to manage symptoms and many resources to help with the social side effects.

The third annual Vanderbilt Huntington’s Disease Education Day will be held March 14 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Brentwood Library at 8109 Concord Road. To register, visit


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