The most evident symptom is involuntary movements because the brain is affected.
First Symptoms: behavioral changes
- unusual mood swings
- higher irritability
- depression or angriness
- likely to abuse alcohol and drugs
Worsening Symptoms: cognitive changes
- trouble thinking and solving problems
- memory impaired
- sensory and spatial perception worsens
- hearing voices
- jerky movements
- flailing arms
- slurred speech
- muscle control - cannot chew or swallow
- disturbed sleep
How is this disease Diagnosed?
To start, it usually comes near the time someone turns 40, but juveniles can get it too. When pregnant a woman can see if her child will have the disease with different tests. After child is born, neurological and psychological tests can be used to identify the disease. No tests can tell the age that one will be diagnosed.
- Treatments cannot slow progression of disease, BUT can make the patient more comfortable.
- Treatments can ease anxiety and depression, control involuntary movements, and they include physical and speech therapy
- People die within 10-30 years after symptoms start
- If juvenile, usually die within 10 years after symptoms start
Genetic Pattern of Inheritance
In the August of 2015, scientists looked at chromosomes of over 4,000 people diagnosed with Huntington’s disease and saw that DNA repair genes can determine where the neurological symptoms begin. The scientists are trying to find ways to slow down or postpone the symptoms of Huntington’s disease since no treatments are proven to work well with this. Since the scientists knew which gene the disease started in, they went looking for where the disease started by looking in single letter changes to the DNA code on patients’ chromosomes that change the chances of getting the disease. They found 2 sites on chromosome 15 that were associated with the disease which would help them in future research.
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