Huntington's Disease ,

Huntington's Disease

By: Charice Eubanks




Huntington disease is a progressive brain disorder. It's caused by a defective gene in chromosome 4. The defect in this gene messes with the structure of the protein Huntingtin, which plays a large role with the neurons found within the brain. Although many parts of the brain are affected, the basal ganglia, which is responsible for coordination and movement, is the most affected area of the brain, that is why some of the most common symptoms in people suffering from Huntington's disease suffer from involuntary movements, loss of balance, loss of coordination, and fidgeting. Other symptoms include memory loss, obsessive compulsive thoughts and actions, disorganization, and depression. This disease is hereditary and can begin in childhood, but more commonly is adult on-set. Occurrence in childhood is more rare and progresses more rapidly than adult on-set, with the affected usually surviving only 10-15 years after the symptoms appear.






There is no cure for Huntington's and no known way to slow down the changes that it causes to the brain, although there are some medications that can help with the symptoms. Atypical antipsychotics and SSRI's are usually prescribed to help with the involuntary movements, irritability, and obsessive compulsive thoughts and actions. Anti-depression medications can be prescribed to help with depression.







Huntington Disease affects is more prevalent among people of European Ancestry, affecting 3-7 of 100,000 people. It is less common among Japanese, Chinese, and African Americans. It is estimated to affect 1 in every 10,000-20,000 people in the United States. In rare cases, one may develop Huntington's without having had a known history of the disease run in the family.









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