The Huntington's Scene In  New Zealand

Site Maintained by

Graham Taylor

Articles taken from the Dec. 2002  Huntington's News. The Quarterly Newsletter of the Huntington's Disease Associations of New Zealand


 21-22 September 2002,  Wellington
Three years had passed since the last National Conference and much had happened in these intervening years for those confronting Huntington’s Disease.  This year’s Conference was therefore eagerly awaited by many and the 190 participants (the largest number ever) were not disappointed.

 Research into HD continues worldwide and the Conference provided an update on the latest developments.  Dr David Craufurd of Manchester University presented a keynote paper on the treatment for Huntington’s Disease.  He was followed by Professor Richard Faull who, with his team at Auckland University, continues to lead HD research in New Zealand.  Dr Ken Taylor, of Antipodean Biotechnology Limited, Auckland, announced at the Conference, that clinical studies on a new drug treatment for HD are proposed for 2003.

A panel discussed the first specialised HD residential facility in the country which will open late in March in the Wellington region and Judy Lyon, past Chairperson of the Wellington HD Association, presented a very interesting and comprehensive paper on Keeping myself well with Naturopathic Medicines and Natural Therapies.

Other presentations covered such topics as Clinical and Neuropsychological Studies in HD; Specific Neuropsychological Aspects of HD – Implicit memory functioning and implications;  Genetic testing for HD; and the important and difficult issue of when do we tell children about HD.

As always, the presentations on Sharing our Experiences – Personal stories on HD was a very special part of the Conference.  We thank and applaud all those who shared their stories with us.

The Conference dinner was held on Saturday night and was very well attended.  Diners were informed and entertained by the guest speaker Sandie Waddell from the Ministry of Health, giving a wonderful and humorous speech.

 The Conference was a resounding success – not only were the papers interesting and well presented, but those with HD, family members, care-givers and health professionals were able to meet, share their experiences and journey together to learn more about Huntington’s.

The Wellington Association wishes to thank all those who participated in this Conference as well as those who worked tirelessly on its organisation.

 Dorothy Tortell
Social Worker