What is Huntington's Disease?
It is usually characterised by involuntary movement and intellectual, emotional and behavioural problems.In most cases HD is a "late" onset disease and symptoms generally appear when a person reaches their mid thirties or forties. In rare cases HD may develop in childhood or as late as seventy years of age.
Treatment of HD and research into its causes has greatly improved in recent years. The HD gene was isolated in 1993 but there is still no cure for the disease.Huntington's Disease (HD) is caused by a defective gene which results in the gradual destruction of neurons (brain cells), particularly in those parts of the brain known as the basal ganglia and the cerebral cortex.
The defective gene can be passed from one generation to the next. If a parent has the gene, each child has a 50/50 chance of either inheriting or escaping it.
If a person inherits the defective gene it will eventually become active and brain cells in the body's central nervous system will start to die. This is when a person begins to develop the symptoms of HD.