Medical Surgical Huntington Disease #3

Question

A couple comes to the clinic inquiring about getting pregnant in the next few months, but states the husband was diagnosed with Huntington’s disease two weeks ago. Which would be the priority nursing response?

Answers

  1. “I would recommend genetic counseling because only one parent has to have the gene for the disease to be passed to the offspring.”
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because Huntington’s disease is a genetic inherited condition where brain nerve cells over time break down causing cognition, psychiatric, and movement problems. Genetic counseling is recommended for any parents who want to have children with one parent carrying the autosomal dominant gene, since the offspring will have the disease at birth.

  2. “What questions do you both have about getting pregnant and the husband being diagnosed with Huntington’s disease?”
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because the nurse’s first priority should be the welfare of the unborn offspring. What questions do you both have about getting pregnant and the husband being diagnosed with Huntington’s disease is a therapeutic question, but not a priority answer in this scenario.

  3. “I see no problem with getting pregnant. Huntington’s disease can be treated and will not be passed to the offspring.”
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because Huntington’s disease is incurable, but symptoms can be treated. Huntington’s disease would be passed onto the offspring.

  4. “I see no problem with having a child. Huntington’s disease is curable and will not be passed to the offspring.”
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because Huntington’s disease is incurable, but symptoms can be treated. Huntington’s disease would be passed onto the offspring.

Overview

Genetic counseling is recommended for any parents who want to have children with one parent carrying the autosomal dominant gene. Huntington’s disease is a genetic inherited condition where brain nerve cells over time break down causing cognition, psychiatric, and movement problems. No cure currently exists for Huntington’s disease. Treatment is available for symptom control.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

Huntington’s disease is a genetic inherited condition where brain nerve cells over time break down causing cognition, psychiatric, and movement problems. Huntington’s disease has no cure, but medications are available for symptom control. Physical therapy and counseling are also used to treat Huntington’s symptoms. Genetic counseling is recommended for parents who want to have children with one parent carrying the autosomal dominant gene.

Test Taking Tip

The nurse should always prioritize the answer(s) provided to the clients especially for genetically inherited diseases that can be passed to the offspring.

Video Rationale