Huntington's Disease

What is Huntington's Disease?

Huntington's Disease, also known as HD, is a dominant genetic disorder that rapidly deteriorates the nerve cells in the brain. The disease usually affects those that are middle-aged, from ages 30 to 50, both sexes, and all races and ethnic groups. While an individual with HD can have children, their child will most likely develop it. The cause of Huntington's Disease is a mutation in the HTT gene, a gene involved in development. Everyone has the gene that causes HD, but only those who have the mutation will develop it. There is also a different version of HD called Juvenile Onset Huntington's Disease. This will affect children or adolescents.

Symptoms

Symptoms of Huntington's disease may be:


  • Mood swings
  • Forgetfulness
  • Impaired judgement
  • Involuntary movements
  • Slurred speech
  • Weight loss
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Unsteady balance
  • Depression

Testing for Huntington's Disease

Individuals who are at risk for having Huntington's Disease can be able to test for it at a genetic testing center. Although some may not see the point in finding out, it is a completely personal choice. Testing a child who may have HD in the future is usually prohibited since they may not understand the implications of their situation. However, children can be tested for juvenile onset HD if the parent wishes so. Testing can also be done for an unborn child if they are at risk of developing HD.

Treatments and Cures

So far, there is no cure for Huntington's Disease or a way to prevent it yet. However, there has been research going on since the HTT gene was discovered to cure HD. As for treatments, certain symptoms like depression or involuntary movements, a person with HD can take medication. In the later stages of the disease, the best thing for the individual is to support them through their hard times.

Works Cited


"Huntington Disease | Disease | Overview | Office of Rare Diseases Research (ORDR-NCATS)." Huntington Disease | Disease | Overview | Office of Rare Diseases Research (ORDR-NCATS). National Center for Advancing Transnational Sciences, n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2015.


"Huntington Disease." Genetics Home Reference. Genetics Home Reference, n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2015.


"Huntington Disease." National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2015.



"What Is Huntington's Disease?" Huntingtons Desease Society of America What Is HD Comments. Huntington's Disease Society of America, n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2015.