Huntington's Disease

By Sean Delach

Description and Discovery

Huntington's Disease is a single gene mutation that was discovered in 1872 by George Huntington. Huntington's Disease is a fatal genetic disorder that causes the progressive breakdown of cells in the brain. The expected life span is 10 to 30 years of age.

Symptoms, Side Effects, & Harm

Symptoms, side effects, and harm caused by Huntington's Disease include amnesia, lack of concentration, memory loss, mental confusion, slowness in activity, difficulty thinking and understanding, abnormality walking, increased muscle activity, involuntary movements, problems with coordination, loss of muscle, muscle spasms, compulsive behavior, fidgeting, irritability, lack of restraint, delirium, depression, hallucination, paranoia, anxiety, apathy, mood swings, tremor, weight loss, and impaired voice.

How is Huntington's Disease Inherited?

  • Huntington's Disease is passed by gene
  • Dominant Trait
  • Everyone has a 50% chance of getting Huntington's Disease
  • Men Commonly get Huntington's Disease

What do Diagnostic Tests Test?

Diagnostic tests for Huntington's Disease test for reflexes, muscle strength, muscle tone, coordination, balance, sense of touch, vision and eye movement, hearing, mental status, mood, memory, reasoning, mental agility, language function, spatial reasoning, emotional state, patterns of behaviors, quality of judgement, coping skills, signs of disordered thinking, and evidence of abuse.

Is there any way to prevent Huntington's Disease?

Can you prevent Huntington's Disease? Sadly, the answer is no. There is no way to prevent Huntington's Disease. You are born with this disease and there are no ways to treat and prevent it. There are treatments that won't slow down or speed up the process, but make the patient feel comfortable.

Huntington's Disease Society of America (HDSA)

The Huntington's Disease Society of America (HDSA) is the premier nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of everyone affected by Huntington’s disease. From community services and education to advocacy and research, HDSA is the world’s leader in providing help for today and hope for tomorrow for people with Huntington’s disease and their families.

HDSA's network of chapters, affiliates, HDSA Centers of Excellence, social workers and support groups provides a seamless connection for help, education and outreach to HD families and health care professionals across the United States.