What is Huntington’s Disease?

Quick Answer: Huntington’s disease is an incurable, hereditary brain disorder. It is a devastating disease for which there is no currently “effective” treatment.

Nerve cells become damaged, causing various parts of the brain to deteriorate. The disease affects movement, behavior and cognition – the affected individuals’ abilities to walk, think, reason and talk are gradually eroded to such a point that they eventually become entirely reliant on other people for their care.

Huntington’s disease has a major emotional, mental, social and economic impact on the lives of patients, as well as their families.

Fast facts on Huntington’s disease

Here are some key points about Huntington’s disease. More detail and supporting information are in the main article.

–Huntington’s disease is, to date, incurable.

–Huntington’s disease attacks nerve cells gradually over time.

–The condition affects around 1 in 10,000 Americans.

–The first signs normally present between the ages of 35 and 55.

–Early symptoms may include mood swings, clumsiness and peculiar behavior.

–During the later stages of the disease, choking becomes a major concern.

–Huntington’s disease is inherited dominantly, and genetic testing has been possible since 1993.

–The disease is caused by a faulty gene that makes an oversized version of the protein huntingtin.

–Huntingtin interacts with a protein called Rhes in the areas of the brain involved in motor control.

–Current medications only attack the symptoms rather than the underlying issues in Huntington’s disease.

Full article explaining Huntington’s disease: Causes, Symptoms & Treatments found here:  Medical News Today

Image:  News HD.net

**Musician Woody Guthrie (1912-1967) died from complications of Huntington’s Disease – Wikipedia.com

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