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Community is Everything

Dr. Claassen is an Associate Professor of Neurology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Editor-in-Chief of HD Insights.

This has been a challenging spring. In Nashville, our community suffered an unspeakable tragedy, with the loss of seven lives in a school shooting. Over the last several weeks, I have witnessed an incredible bonding of our community, where spontaneous acts of kindness, phone calls and text messages, in-person meetings, and an incredible amount of hugging have become the new normal. This new community support has been so encouraging to me and my family. I can’t help thinking of our HD community and how often we experience tragedy: from learning that your parent has HD, to getting a new diagnosis, to struggling with the symptoms that arise along the HD journey.

In this edition, we highlight the diverse community that addresses patient care and research efforts early in the disease course. In our clinics we see child psychiatry needs, early concerns of cognitive challenges, questions about diagnosis protocols, and a call to action for early disease modification trials. I hope that you find our highlighted story about Terry Jo Bichell, our HD Insights speaker for 2022, encouraging and uplifting. The HD community is unique. The commitment to our patients and their families is extraordinary, and I hope, from this edition, that you get a sense for how our caring community is growing.

See you in Arizona for the 30th Annual Meeting of the Huntington Study Group!

About HD Insights

Our mission is to promote, disseminate, and facilitate research on Huntington’s disease. To fulfill this mission, we are guided by an outstanding editorial board that includes representatives from three continents, academia, industry, and the HD community.