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Huntington's Disease - Symptoms and Treatment

Huntington's Disease is a hereditary disease of the brain characterised by the onset in adult life of unusual body movements and mental deterioration it is a chronic genetical disease of the central nervous system that produces progressive dementia and involuntary movements, in other words it is a dominant genetic disorder in which a protein is produced abnormally, leading to the breakdown in the parts of the brain that control movement. Symptoms most commonly begin between the ages of 35 and 50, although onset may occur any time from childhood to old age, there currently is no cure for this disease. Each child of an affected parent has a 50 % chance of inheriting the disease and is said to be at risk , is a late but variable age onset lethal human disease of nerve degeneration.

Causes of Huntington's Disease

It is mainly caused due to faulty gene and passes through inheritance so if one of your parents has Huntington's disease, if one of your parents has Huntington's disease you have a 50 percent chance of developing the disease and if the faulty gene is not inhereted in you then it will not pass on to your childrens, very occasionally some people can develop the condition even though there is no family history of can be due to not properly diagnosis of previous generation.

Symptoms of Huntington's Disease

Some common symptoms of Huntington's Disease are:

  • Physcial symptoms like chorea or choking including reduction of control of muscles of toungue,neck and diaphragm
  • Emotional Symptoms including depression and frustration
  • Cognitive symptoms include a loss of drive and initiative
  • Mild tremor
  • Clumsiness
  • Lack of concentration
  • Difficulty remembering things
  • Mood changes, including depression
  • Sometimes, aggressive antisocial behaviour

Treatment of Huntington's Disease

Treatment of Huntington's Disease include follwoing measures :

1) Medication: includes:

  • Antipsychotics (hallucinations, delusions, violent outbursts): haloperidol, chlorpromazine, olanzapine (contraindicated if patient has dystonia)
  • Antidepressants (depression, obsessive-compulsive behavior): fluoxetine, sertraline hydrochloride, nortriptyline
  • Tranquilizers (anxiety, chorea): benzodiazepines, paroxetine, venlafaxin, beta-blockers
  • Mood-stabilizers : lithium, valproate, carbamazepine
  • Botulinum toxin

2) Nutrition and diet include more fluids and better diet

3) Daily exercise and better social activity also helps huntington's patients


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