Huntington Disease

Stephanie Locke

Cause

An inherited condition in which nerve cells in the brain break down over time.


- uniformly fatal-

Symptoms

Cognitive: amnesia, delusion, lack of concentration, memory loss, mental confusion, slowness in activity and thought, or difficulty thinking and understanding

Muscular: abnormality walking, increased muscle activity, involuntary movements, problems with coordination, loss of muscle, or muscle spasms

Behavioral: compulsive behavior, fidgeting, irritability, or lack of restraint

Psychological: delirium, depression, hallucination, or paranoia

Mood: anxiety, apathy, or mood swings

Also common: tremor, weight loss, or impaired voice

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Treatment

No cure exists, but drugs, physical therapy, and talk therapy can help manage some symptoms.

Physical therapist: Restores muscle strength and function through exercise.

Neurologist: Treats nervous system disorders.

Psychiatrist: Treats mental disorders.

Medical geneticist: Diagnoses and manages hereditary disorders.

Life Expectancy

It typically starts in a person's 30s or 40s
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Interesting Facts

  • Animal models can replicate many features of the disease
  • Considered one of the most common hereditary brain disorder
  • Researchers are using stem cells to create a “disease in a dish” model, that allows them to create cells that reflect different forms of Huntington’s disease and then use them to screen different drugs to see if they are effective against HD.