Huntington’s disease is a hereditary brain disorder that is progressive in neurodegeneration; which means, there is a loss of function and structures of one’s neurons. In the long run it results in the loss of both mental and physical control. The disease affects muscle coordination, cognition and behavior. It used to be known as Huntington’s chorea because it is the most common genetic disease that is the cause of abnormal twitching. Huntington's has an intense effect on patients, as individuals gradually lose the ability to reason, speak and swallow. Also, motor symptoms, which affects in problems with walking, (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2011). Children born to parents who suffer from the disease have a 50% chance of inheriting and developing it. Hence, during pregnancy it is possible to find out if the child will carry the mutated gene by using two tests: amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling (CVS); although it will not be able to verify what age the child will begin to develop the disease. Huntington’s disease affects 30,000 people in the United States and 150,000 people are at risk in inheritance. Symptoms usually appear in middle aged life at around 40-50 years of age. On the other hand, if the disease onset begins by the age of 20 it is called Juvenile Huntington disease, the symptoms and stages will progress faster. (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2011)
There are five stages that are involved but they are broken down into the early, middle, and late stages. However; each individual’s symptoms vary in severity from stage to stage. Early symptoms of Huntington’s disease usually consist of; mood swings, depression, loss of memory, uncontrolled movements, emotional issues, physical activities and functional abilities, a lack sleeping well, difficulty in organizing, concentrating and remembering daily information, and low motivation. As the disease progresses, walking and speech become more difficult, and memory and intellectual functions continue to weaken (Saldert,...
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