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Huntington's disease is a rare neurodegenerative, genetic disorder that severely affects the brain. Huntington's disease results in the destruction of certain cells in the brain. Huntington's disease is a seriously disabling and devastating disorder that progressively damages and destroys a person's ability to think, move voluntarily, and function independently. Huntington's disease is also known as Huntington disease, Huntington's disorder or Huntington's chorea. Huntington's disease is not curable and is eventually fatal.
Huntington's disease is caused by inheriting a specific defective gene from a parent. The defective gene that causes Huntington's disease is not more common in any specific population.
Symptoms of Huntington's disease generally do not occur until middle age, although they can begin at any age. Symptoms of Huntington's disease differ widely between individuals and can be vague and nonspecific in the early stages of the disease. Symptoms include problems with mood, behavior, twitching, memory loss and a decrease in coordination. Symptoms of Huntington's disease eventually progress to become severely disabling, and death results from serious complications. For more details on symptoms and complications, refer to symptoms of Huntington's disease.
Making a diagnosis of Huntington's disease includes taking a thorough personal and family history, including symptoms, and completing a physical examination. This includes a neurological and psychological exam. A test is available to test for the specific gene that causes Huntington's disease. A CTR or MRI may also be performed to look for changes in the brain.
It is possible that a diagnosis of Huntington's disease can be missed or delayed because symptoms can mimic symptoms of other diseases and for a variety of other reasons. For more information on misdiagnosis, refer to misdiagnosis of Huntington's disease.
Huntington's disease is not curable, and at this time there are no treatments that can slow the advancement of the disease. However, there are some medications that may help to reduce some symptoms, and there are many clinical trials taking place to research a variety of potential treatments. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of Huntington's disease....more »
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