In purple, the stratium is the
area of the brain most damaged
in early Huntington's disease.
disease (HD) is a genetic condition passed from parent to child
through a mutation in a normal gene. The faulty gene results in
irreversible damage to the brain's nerve cells resulting in physical,
mental and emotional disorders.
A child of an
HD parent has a 50-50 chance of inheriting the disease, which has
no known cure. However, children who do not inherit the gene will
not develop the disease and cannot pass it on to future generations.
may vary in progression, although early symptoms of adult onset
typically include personality disorders such as depression
or mood swings. As Huntington's disease progresses, chorea may develop
resulting in uncontrolled movements in the face, hands or feet.
commonly include chronic jaw clenching, difficulty in walking, slurred
speech, loss of coordination and difficulty in swallowing. Early
cognitive symptoms such as confusion and memory loss, similar to Alzheimer's disease, may also deteriorate
into hallucinations, unprovoked aggression,
paranoia and full-blown dementia.
Onset of Huntington's
disease between 30-50 years of age, although symptoms may start
much earlier or much later. Adult symptoms may develop over a number
of years, but juvenile HD progresses much faster and the disease
commonly runs its terminal course over a period of 10 years.
With no known
cure for Huntington's disease, symptoms can be managed with medications
such as antidepressants, tranquilizers for muscle twitching, or
anti-psychotics for hallucinations or violent outbursts.
in adults may last for years, and health
insurance coverage may be difficult to come by for this most
chronic of illnesses.
are usually prolonged and grow more intensive as symptoms worsen.
Options such as home care, assisted home care, occupational therapy
or - for more severe cases, a full-time nursing facility - must
be carefully considered at each stage of the disease.
the Web, find out more about Huntington's disease diagnosis, symptoms,
treatment, with more on current research, experimental medications
and clinical trials, and helpful online resources and advice for
HD patient family members and caregivers ...
More about Huntington's disease around the Web:
Disease Lighthouse Families - Major online support group by
and for HD families & caregivers in the U.S. with information on clinical trails,
first person stories, diet tips, research library.
Disease: Hope Through Research - Extensive overview of its
causes, testing and diagnosis, available treatments for symptoms,
prognosis, current research and community support services, glossary
of terms, and helpful links to related resources.
What is Huntington
Disease? - Online handbook providing
detailed information on genetic causes with specifics on the HD
gene, and helpful links to educational resources, patient &
family support, current research literature.
- Huntington's Disease - Information on clinical trials
of new experimental treatments conducted at research facilities
across the U.S., with contact details and eligibility requirements.
information is intended as reference and not as medical advice.
All treatment decisions should be made by medical professionals.