Understanding Huntington’s Disease

Huntington’s disease is a disorder of the brain that is inherited, progressive and incurable. With Huntington’s disease, the group of nerve cells at the brains base, known as the basal ganglia, are damaged. This causes areas of the brain to deteriorate. A child with a parent that has Huntington’s disease has a fifty percent chance of inheriting the disorder. Both sexes have the same risk, and Huntington’s disease affects all races. Huntington’s disease can occur at any stage in life from childhood to advanced age.

Functional Effects Of Huntington’s Disease

Journal of Rare Diseases Research & Treatment

Huntington’s disease symptoms most common begin appearing between the ages of thirty and fifty but have been seen to appear as early as two years old and as late as eighty years old. Huntington’s disease affects all areas of the body including legs, arms, face and upper body, as well as thinking, emotion, and memory. Common functional symptoms include rigidity of muscles, involuntary jerking of muscles, muscular contractures, problems with balance and gait stability, gait impairment, abnormal eye movement and difficulty with speech and swallowing. There is a diagnostic genetic test available that can confirm whether symptoms experienced are the result of the disease. Managing symptoms is the priority as there is currently no cure for Huntington’s disease.

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