Huntington's Disease

Huntington's disease (HD) results from genetically programmed degeneration of brain cells, called neurons, in certain areas of the brain. This degeneration causes uncontrolled movements, loss of intellectual faculties, and emotional disturbance. HD is a familial disease, passed from parent to child through a mutation in the normal gene. Each child of an HD parent has a 50-50 chance of inheriting the HD gene. If a child does not inherit the HD gene, he or she will not develop the disease and cannot pass it to subsequent generations. A person who inherits the HD gene will sooner or later develop the disease. Whether one child inherits the gene has no bearing on whether others will or will not inherit the gene. Some early symptoms of HD are mood swings, depression, irritability or trouble driving, learning new things, remembering a fact, or making a decision. As the disease progresses, concentration on intellectual tasks becomes increasingly difficult and the patient may have difficulty feeding himself or herself and swallowing. The rate of disease progression and the age of onset vary from person to person. A genetic test, coupled with a complete medical history and neurological and laboratory tests, helps physicians diagnose HD. Presymptomic testing is available for individuals who are at risk for carrying the HD gene. In 1 to 3 percent of individuals with HD, no family history of HD can be found.
What is Huntington's Disease?

Huntington’s disease is an incurable neurodegenerative disease that affects muscle coordination and cognitive function. Symptoms of the disease usually start to develop around middle age. Huntington’s disease used to be called Huntington’s chorea because it is the most commonly inherited condition to lead to the involuntary movements referred to as chorea.

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Latest Huntington's Disease News and Research

UW joins the Alliance for Therapies in Neuroscience to transform the fight against neurological diseases

UW joins the Alliance for Therapies in Neuroscience to transform the fight against neurological diseases

Study reveals pathological mechanisms of synaptic dysfunction in patients with Huntington's disease

Study reveals pathological mechanisms of synaptic dysfunction in patients with Huntington's disease

Researchers develop novel therapeutic strategy to treat Huntington's disease

Researchers develop novel therapeutic strategy to treat Huntington's disease

Study reinforces the potential of Huntington’s treatments that target glia cells

Study reinforces the potential of Huntington’s treatments that target glia cells

Researchers develop new method for studying age-related brain disorders

Researchers develop new method for studying age-related brain disorders

Gene mutation responsible for hereditary hemochromatosis may be a risk factor for movement disorders

Gene mutation responsible for hereditary hemochromatosis may be a risk factor for movement disorders

Immuno-infrared sensor identifies Alzheimer's disease in the blood up to 17 years in advance

Immuno-infrared sensor identifies Alzheimer's disease in the blood up to 17 years in advance

Cellular changes in astrocytes play a crucial role in regulating outcomes for CNS disorders

Cellular changes in astrocytes play a crucial role in regulating outcomes for CNS disorders

Study aims to analyze Alzheimer's patients' ability to process contextual information from the face

Study aims to analyze Alzheimer's patients' ability to process contextual information from the face

Researchers combine two emerging imaging technologies to better view biomolecules

Researchers combine two emerging imaging technologies to better view biomolecules

Repeated DNA sequences in the genome may contribute to schizophrenia risk

Repeated DNA sequences in the genome may contribute to schizophrenia risk

bit.bio launches Huntington’s disease human cell model

bit.bio launches Huntington’s disease human cell model

New drug shows promise in treating a movement disorder associated with Huntington's disease

New drug shows promise in treating a movement disorder associated with Huntington's disease

Investigational new drug may be safe for patients with mild cognitive impairment, dementia

Investigational new drug may be safe for patients with mild cognitive impairment, dementia

Chaperone-mediated autophagy needed to protect against atherosclerosis

Chaperone-mediated autophagy needed to protect against atherosclerosis

Alzheimer’s disease protein helps skin cancer cells thrive when they metastasize to the brain

Alzheimer’s disease protein helps skin cancer cells thrive when they metastasize to the brain

Single protein elicits multilineage reprogramming of astrocytes in adult mouse brains

Single protein elicits multilineage reprogramming of astrocytes in adult mouse brains

New DNA test can quickly and accurately identify a range of hard-to-diagnose genetic diseases

New DNA test can quickly and accurately identify a range of hard-to-diagnose genetic diseases

Researchers create a comprehensive atlas of cerebrovascular cell types

Researchers create a comprehensive atlas of cerebrovascular cell types

UCLA researchers develop first human genomic transgenic mouse model of Huntington's disease

UCLA researchers develop first human genomic transgenic mouse model of Huntington's disease