Huntington’s Disease. Those who suffer from Huntington’s Disease have a genetic mutation that triggers the gradual breakdown and death of nerve cells in the brain. The disease is a fatal genetic disorder that deteriorates a person’s physical and mental abilities and currently has no cure.
It is known as the quintessential family disease because every child of a parent with HD has a 50/50 chance of carrying the faulty gene. Today, there are approximately 30,000 symptomatic Americans and more than 200,000 at-risk of inheriting the disease.
Eventually, after roughly 20 to 30 years after the disease appears or is diagnosed, that cell breakdown results in the patient’s death, sometimes due to sepsis, pneumonia, or some other complication related to the disease.
What are the physical symptoms of Huntington’s Disease?
According to the Huntington’s Disease Society of America, often symptoms are described as similar symptoms to ALS, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, sometimes simultaneously.
Symptoms usually appear between the ages of 30 to 50, and worsen over a 10 to 25 year period.
Everyone has the Huntington’s Disease gene, but only those that inherit the expansion of the gene will develop the disease and perhaps pass it on to each of their children. Every person who inherits the expanded gene will eventually develop the disease. Over time, Huntington’s Disease affects the individual’s ability to reason, walk and speak.
- Personality changes, mood swings & depression
- Forgetfulness & impaired judgment
- Unsteady gait & involuntary movements (chorea)
- Slurred speech, difficulty in swallowing & significant weight loss
Still have questions?
Makes sure to talk to your doctor if you think you’re having Huntington’s Disease symptoms and/or think you may be at risk.
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