Huntington's Disease is a brain disorder that affects a person's ability to think, talk, and move.
How do people get Huntington's Disease
Huntington's disease is inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern. This means that everyone who inherits the un-necessary gene will get the disease eventually. A parent with a mutation in the HD gene has a 50 percent chance of passing the disease down to their children.
Symptoms of the disease includes poor memory, depression, mood swings, lack of coordination, twitching, or other incontrollable movements.
How do doctor's diagnose HuntinGton's Disease?
Doctors can diagnose the disease when a woman is pregnant by taking samples of certain fluid in the woman's body. After the child is born, doctors can identify the disease by doing several neurological and psychological tests. A genetic test can also confirm the disease by determining if the person has inherited the HD gene mutation. The test cannot tell at what age a person will begin to get sick from Huntington's Disease Some question whether it is ethical to do the genetic test before symptoms appear. However, others wish to know their chance of getting the disease before deciding to have children.
How do doctors treat the disease?
Treatments don't slow the progression of the disease, but they can help make the patient more comfortable. Medications help to ease the feelings of depression and anxiety, and others control involuntary movements. Physical or speech therapy helps HD patients have more normal lives.
- In the United States, about in every 30,000 people have Huntington's Disease.
- Dr. George Huntington first described Huntington's Disease
Edmodo genetics disease website