Barrow Recognized for Excellence in Huntington’s Disease Care

The Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow Neurological Institute has been named a Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA) Center of Excellence for 2021.

HDSA awards this designation to multidisciplinary centers that demonstrate a commitment to providing comprehensive care to individuals with Huntington’s disease. Barrow is one of 54 HDSA Centers of Excellence across the United States and the only site with this designation in the state of Arizona.

At HDSA Centers of Excellence like Barrow, patients benefit from a variety of specialists who are highly experienced in working with families affected by Huntington’s disease and who work collaboratively to help families with care planning throughout the course of the disease.

Huntington’s disease is an inherited condition that causes the progressive degeneration of nerve cells in the brain. The deterioration of these cells over time can lead to uncontrolled movements, cognitive challenges, and emotional changes.

Ryan R. Walsh
Ryan Walsh, MD, PhD; Director, Huntington’s Disease Program in the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow

The disease is passed down from a parent to a child through a mutated gene. Each child of a parent with the disease has a 50-50 chance of inheriting the gene. About 75,000 people are estimated to carry the gene.

This year, HDSA is awarding $1.75 million to its Centers of Excellence program.

“To have the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow Neurological Institute designated as a Huntington’s Disease Society of America Center of Excellence enables us to expand our mission to help patients, families, and caregivers affected by Huntington’s disease,” said Ryan Walsh, MD, PhD, a neurologist who leads the Huntington’s disease program at Barrow. “We are now poised to broaden our Huntington’s disease clinical, research, and outreach efforts both here at the Center and throughout the Southwest.”

The Huntington’s Disease Society of America is the premier nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of everyone affected by Huntington’s disease. From community services and education to advocacy and research, HDSA is the world’s leader in providing help for today and hope for tomorrow for people with the disease and their families.