What is Huntington’s disease?
Huntington’s disease (HD) is a progressive, inherited, neurodegenerative disease that results in neurologic and psychiatric decline over 15–20 years. Over the course of the disease there are progressively worsening difficulties with controlling movements of all kinds, with thinking and with emotional balance.
Patients benefit from increasing care and supervision and eventually require 24-hour care in the final phases of the disease. Although symptoms can start at any age, including childhood, individuals usually develop symptoms from their 30s to their 50s
What are the different types of Huntington’s disease?
Huntington’s disease is also sometimes known as Huntington’s chorea.
What are the risk factors for Huntington’s disease?
If a parent has Huntington’s disease, each of their children has a 50% chance of inheriting it. Grandchildren have a 25% chance of inheriting the abnormal gene. A genetic test is available to determine whether the gene mutation is present.
What causes Huntington’s disease?
The HD gene is passed from parent to child through genes. As a result of a change in the gene’s structure, neurons in the brain gradually degenerate, causing the neurologic symptoms of HD.
What are the symptoms of Huntington’s disease?
Typical symptoms of HD are involuntary movements, loss of coordination, loss of intellectual faculties, emotional disturbances and weight loss.
How is Huntington’s disease diagnosed?
Huntington’s disease is an inherited disease, so family medical history plays an important role in diagnosis. In addition, patients may undergo:
Treatment for Huntington’s disease
Treatment for Huntington’s disease may include:
Understanding the molecular pathogenesis of Huntington’s disease.
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