By: Amanda R.


Basics on Huntington's Disease:


Huntington’s disease is a genetic disease that causes brain cells to degenerate in certain parts of the brain. The name comes from from George Huntington, who found out the details of the disease in 1872. Huntington's Disease causes uncontrollable movements and emotional disturbances. If one of an individual's parents has Huntington's Disease, then that person has a 50% chance of inheriting the one faulty gene, which will result in them developing the disease. The early symptoms of the disease include: mood swings, depression, irritability, trouble driving, difficulty learning new things, difficulty remembering facts, and difficulty making decisions. As the disease gets worse, it becomes even more difficult for the individual to concentrate on tasks. The person might find it difficult eating and swallowing. How fast the disease progresses can differ from person to person. There are certain drugs and medications that can help deal with some of the symptoms of the disease, but there is nothing that can treat the mental decline. For more information you can visit this site, and you can also check out the official Huntington's Disease website.

More about the gene:


Everyone is born with the huntingtin gene [note: not Huntington, huntingtin]. This gene allows the body to produce the huntingtin protein, also known as HTT. One section of this gene is repeated, this is called the trinucleotide repeat. Each person has a different length of this section of the gene. HD occurs when this repeated section reaches a certain point that is not present with all individuals. Once this point is reached, a mutant form of HTT protein is produced called mHTT. This protein causes the symptoms of HD. Normally HD occurs when the length of the repeated section of the gene is longer then normal.


More Facts:

-About 1 in every 30,000 people in the United States has Huntington's Disease.


Here is a picture that illustrates how someone can inherit the disease:
Huntington's_Disease1.jpg

Here is a table about the percentage of different symptoms and moods affecting someone with Huntington's Disease:
[note: this is from Wikipedia]

Depressed mood
33–69%
Anxiety
34–61%
Irritability
38–73%
Apathy
34–76%
Obsessive and compulsive
10–52%
Psychotic
3–11%


Here is a picture of the portion of the brain that Huntington's Disease affects:
[note: also from Wikipedia]
Huntington's_Disease_brain.svg.png