What Is Huntingtons Disease?
Huntingtons Disease (HD) is a brain disease that leads to gradual loss of neural cells in the brain, particularly in the cortex and the primary ganglia. Consequently, various regions of the brain slowly cease to function. Patients typically suffer from concentration problems or memory lapses due to this disorder. They tend to stumble or walk clumsily.
Huntingtons Disease – Risk Factors
The disease usually affects young adults or fully adult individuals. It is more common in individuals with a family history of the condition.
Huntingtons Disease – Incidence
More than 15,000 people in the United States suffer from this ailment on an annual basis. Around 10% of all sufferers of this disorder are under 20 years of age.
Huntingtons Disease – Symptoms
In patients of this disease, the symptoms usually manifest only after he or she is grown up or is middle-aged. The signs can be classified into:
Huntington Disease - Causes
The disorder possibly arises due to hereditary factors, such as passing of an impaired gene from parents to children. The condition may arise due to only one defective chromosome unlike various other genetic disorders that take two chromosomes, one from the mother and another from the father, to arise. Every offspring of a Huntington disease patient is at 50% risk of inheriting it and may develop the condition sometime in his or her life only in case of a genetic transmission.
However, some people also develop the disease without a family history of it. In such cases, it is supposed to arise due to some genetic alteration in the mother’s body at the time of sperm development.
Huntington Disease - Diagnosis
A blood test can show the presence of the gene that is responsible for this disease. Undergoing ‘Pre-Symptomatic’ test can help you know whether or not a person has this disorder.
Huntingtons Disease - Treatment
While its treatment is almost impossible, its symptoms can be managed. Physicians employ various medicines and therapies to manage the problems occurring due to Huntingtons Disease.
Medications fail to slow down this condition but are effective in partially managing its symptoms. Drugs like Clonazepan, Clozapine and Tetrabenazine are useful in controlling uncontrollable, jerky movements. However, patients may suffer from side-effects like:
Therapies help sufferers control their bodily movements and communication. With speech therapy, patients are able to sound out their feelings more distinctly. They can maintain their balance and reduce risks of toppling with physical therapy. Occupational therapies let them manage concentration problems.
Huntington Disease - Prognosis
This is an incurable disease and usually ends in the death of patients. It weakens the immune system, thereby making sufferers susceptible to various disorders. Many patients die after contracting ailments in the later stages.
Huntington Disease - Prevention
It is impossible to prevent the occurrence of this syndrome. Those with a family history of Huntington’s disease should get themselves checked by geneticists and other concerned doctors. Individuals tested positive with the condition should undergo genetic counselling and plan their life and career in an appropriate way.
Huntingtons Disease Association
Huntingtons Disease Association (HDA) is a charitable organization that extends support to all HD sufferers of Wales and England. Founded in 1986, it is situated in Liverpool and also conducts research programs associated to the disorder.
The registered address of this institution is:
Huntington’s Disease Assocation
Suite 24, Liverpool Science Park IC1
131 Mount Pleasant
Phone: 0151 331 5444
Huntingtons Disease - Pictures
Check the physical appearance of individuals suffering from this brain disorder.
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