Symptoms of Huntington's disease commonly become noticeable between the ages of 35 and 44 years, but they can begin at any age from infancy, often when affected individuals have had children.
The most characteristic initial physical symptoms are jerky, random, and uncontrollable movements called chorea. These are signs that the system in the brain that is responsible for movement is affected. Psychomotor functions become increasingly impaired, such that any action that requires muscle control is affected. Common consequences are physical instability, abnormal facial expression, and difficulties chewing, swallowing and speaking.
Sleep disturbances are also associated symptoms. Juvenile HD differs from these symptoms in that it generally progresses faster and chorea is exhibited briefly, if at all, with rigidity being the dominant symptom. Seizures are also a common symptom of this form of HD. Difficulties in recognizing other people's negative expressions have also been observed.
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