Huntington's Disease

By Nathan Kalkowski

Huntington's Disease is a single cell mutation and was discovered by Dr. George Huntington in 1872. Huntington's Disease is an inherited condition in which nerve cells in the brain break down over time.

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The picture above on the left is a person with Huntington's Disease and the one on the right is someone who doesn't have Huntington's Disease.

Symtoms

Huntington's Disease symptoms are poor memory, depression, mood swings, lack of coordination, twitching or uncontrolled movements, and difficulty walking, speaking, and swallowing.

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The picture above is Huntington's Disease symptoms.

How the Disorder is Inherited

Huntington's Disease is a dominant trait. The disorder is not that common. Huntington's Disease is located on the 4th chromosome. This disorder most likely occurs between the ages 30-50.
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The picture above is a chart of how Huntington's Disease is inherited.

Diagnostic Tests

Huntington's disease is inherited 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 percent chance of passing the disease to their children.
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In the picture above two scientists are testing someone for Huntington's Disease.

Treatments

Treatments do not slow the progress of 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 Huntington's Disease patients lead more normal lives.
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The picture above is a chart of the most commonly used treatments for Huntington's Disease.

Support Groups

-Huntington's Disease Society of America

-Pittsburgh Support Group