Huntington huntington’s disease is a disorder passed down through families in which nerve cells in certain parts of the brain waste away or degenerate causes…

Try: Huntington huntington’s disease is a disorder passed down through families in which nerve cells in certain parts of the brain waste away or degenerate causes incidence and risk factors huntington huntington’s disease is caused by a genetic defect on chromosome 4 the defect causes a part of dna called a cag repeat to occur many more times than it is supposed to normally this section of dna is repeated 10 to 28 times but in persons with huntington huntington’s disease it is repeated 36 to 120 times as the gene is passed down through families the number of repeats tends to get larger the larger the number of repeats the greater your chance of developing symptoms at an earlier age therefore as the disease is passed along in families symptoms develop at younger and younger ages there are two forms of huntington huntington’s disease the most common is adult-onset huntington huntington’s disease persons with this form usually develop symptoms in their mid 30s and 40s an early-onset form of huntington huntington’s disease accounts for a small number of cases and begins in childhood or adolescence if one of your parents has huntington huntington’s disease you have a 50 chance of getting the gene for the disease if you get the gene from your parents you will develop the disease at some point in your life and can pass it onto your children if you do not get the gene from your parents you cannot pass the gene onto your children symptoms behavior changes may occur before movement problems and can include behavioral disturbances hallucinations irritability moodiness restlessness or fidgeting paranoia psychosis abnormal and unusual movements include facial movements including grimaces head turning to shift eye position quick sudden sometimes wild jerking movements of the arms legs face and other body parts slow uncontrolled movements unsteady gait dementia that slowly gets worse including disorientation or confusion loss of judgment loss of memory personality changes speech changes additional symptoms that may be associated with this disease anxiety stress and tension difficulty swallowing speech impairment signs and tests the doctor will perform a physical exam and may ask questions about the patient patient’s family history and symptoms a neurological exam will also be done the doctor may see signs of dementia abnormal movements abnormal reflexes prancing and wide walk hesitant speech or poor enunciation a head ct scan may show loss of brain tissue especially deep in the brain other tests that may show signs of huntington huntington’s disease include head mri scan pet isotope scan of the brain genetic tests are available to determine whether a person carries the gene for huntington huntington’s disease treatment there is no cure for huntington huntington’s disease and there is no known way to stop the disease from getting worse the goal of treatment is to slow down the symptoms and help the person function and stay comfortable for as long and as possible medications vary depending on the symptoms dopamine blockers may help reduce abnormal behaviors and movements drugs such as amantadine and tetrabenazine are used to try to control extra movements there has been some evidence to suggest that co-enzyme q10 may also help slow down the course of the disease but it is not conclusive depression and suicide are common among persons with huntington huntington’s disease it is important for all those who care for a person with huntington huntington’s disease to monitor for symptoms and treat accordingly as the disease progresses the person will need assistance and supervision and may eventually need 24-hour care expectations prognosis huntington huntington’s disease causes disability that gets worse over time persons with this disease usually die within 15 to 20 years the cause of death is often infection although suicide is also common it is important to realize that the disease affects everyone differently the number of cag repeats may determine the severity of symptoms persons with few repeats may have mild abnormal movements later in life and slow disease progression while those with a large number of repeats may be severely affected at a young age complications loss of ability to care for self loss of ability to interact injury to self or others increased risk of infection depression death prevention genetic counseling is advised if there is a family history of huntington huntington’s disease experts also recommend genetic counseling for couples with a family history of this disease who are considering having children information references "other movement disorders" by in a lang 2007 "neurology in clinical practice" 5th edition by w g bradley r b daroff g m feniche and j jankovic 2008

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Categories: Behavior Challenging, Cognitive Intellectual, Communication, Emotional Psychological, Maintenance, Medical Physical, Personal, Needs Some Assistance, Needs Much Assistance, Some Supervision, Maximum Supervision, So-So Verbal Comm, Poor Verbal Comm, Somewhat Aware, Unaware, So-So L T Memory, Poor L T Memory, Short-Term Memory, So-So S T Memory, Poor S T Memory

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Keywords: Movement disorders depression memory loss speech impairment balance problems

*This information is listed as a Fact Sheet and is not explicitly medically licensed

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