Huntington's Disease

By: Savvon Delgado

Huntington's Disease

This disease destroys cells in the basal ganglia, the part of the brain that controls movement, emotions, and cognitive ability. It s caused by a mutation in a gene on chromosome 4. Somehow the brain cells of HD patients accumulate clumps of protein that become toxic, resulting in cell death. Some patients lose more than 25% of their brain cells before they die.
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Symptoms

Most people who have the disease usually occur symptoms in in the ages of 30-50. The disease gets worst over time. Symptoms include poor memory, depression and/or mood swings, lack of coordination, twitching or other uncontrolled movements, and difficulty walking, speaking, and/or swallowing.
In the late stages of the disease, the person will need help even doing simple tasks, like getting dressed.
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How do you get (HD)?

Huntington's disease is an inherited disease in an autosomal dominant pattern. this means that everyone who inherits the faulty gene will eventually get the disease. A parent with a mutation in the HD gene has a 50% chance of passing the disease to their children.

Treatment

Treatments do not slow the progression of the disease, but they can help make the patient more comfortable. Medications ease feelings of depression and anxiety; others control involuntary movements. Physical or speech therapy helps HD patients lead more normal lives.
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Background

-The disease was named for Dr. George Huntington, who first described it in 1872.

-In the United States, about 1 in every 30,000 people has Huntington's disease.