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Long-term Funding for Training Program in Huntington Disease Announced

Waterloo, ON, Sept.1, 2021: The Huntington Society of Canada (HSC) is pleased to announce the creation of a stable, long-term program to train a new generation of neurologists with expertise in treating patients with Huntington disease (HD) in Canada.

The new Clinical Fellowship award was made possible via a donation by Dr. Mark Guttman and his wife, Lesley Simpson. Dr. Guttman, who retired at the end of August, is one of the leading neurologists in the country specializing in Huntington disease, in both research and clinical fields. There is a shortage of neurologists in Canada trained to manage HD patients and their families. Dr. Guttman wants to help fill the gap by creating this program.

“There are few neurologists who focus on HD in Canada, and of those that do, several will be retiring soon,” comments Dr. Guttman, who is also a HSC Board Director. “We hope that the news of this stable, five-year Clinical Fellowship program will create an opportunity so that neurology residents trying to decide on a specialty will consider dedicating their careers to HD.” The program will provide support for post-residency training for one year and is designed to add five new HD neurologists in Canada over the next five years.

Without a dedicated initiative to stimulate interest in the field of HD, a shortage of neurologists with expertise in HD care will only continue or worsen.

“We are so grateful to Dr. Mark Guttman and Lesley Simpson for this gift supporting the training of future HD neurologists,” says Shelly Redman, CEO of HSC. “This program will pave the way for highly trained specialists to continue to support such an important role in caring for the HD community.”

The Clinical Fellowship Award will be administered by HSC through a national competition adjudicated by an expert panel. Information on the competition will be available in the fall.

For more information:

Shelly Redman, CEO
519-749-8491, ext. 124

Huntington disease (HD) is a debilitating brain disorder that is fatal and incurable. About one in every 7,000 Canadians has HD and approximately one in every 5,500 is at-risk of developing the disease. Many more are touched by HD whether as a caregiver, a family member, or a friend. Huntington disease is often described as having the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and ALS – simultaneously. As the disease progresses, a person with HD become less able to manage movements, recall events, make decisions and control emotions. The disease leads to incapacitation and, eventually, death.

The Huntington Society of Canada (HSC) is a respected leader in the worldwide effort to find a meaningful treatment for Huntington disease. HSC is the only Canadian health charity dedicated to providing help and hope for families dealing with Huntington disease across Canada.

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