Huntingtons Disease

Topics: Chromosome, DNA, Huntington's disease Pages: 2 (516 words) Published: October 20, 2013
Huntington’s disease affects the body’s ability to think, talk and move. On average, the disease develops from 30-50 years old, however, can develop earlier or later. Specific affects, or symptoms, of Huntington’s Disease include: Poor memory, depression and/or mood swings, lack of coordination, twitching or other uncontrolled movements, and difficult walking, speaking and/or swallowing. As the disease progresses, eventually the person affected will need assistance performing simple tasks, such as getting dressed (learn.genetics.utah.edu). Huntington’s disease is a genetic disorder, and therefore, cannot be cured. There are however treatments that will make the patient more comfortable, although not slowing the disease. Anti depressants can help control the emotional effects of the disease. Drugs such as Amantadine and Tetrabenazine are used to try and control the extra, uncontrolled body movements. Those who stay active have been shown to develop the disease later rather than sooner in life (learn.genetics.utah.edu).

Both woman and men can develop Huntington’s disease. Neither gender is morelikely to develop the disease. It is more common in people of European decent versus other ethnicities. (http://www.huntington-study-group.org). Huntington’s disease is the result of a single mutated gene. Since Huntington’s disease is autosomal dominant, the gene is on an autosomal chromosome, and recently has been localized on the fourth autosomal chromosome pair. Any chromosome not considered as a sex chromosome, or is not involved in sex determination. It occurs in pairs in somatic cells and singly in sex cells (gametes) (An affected parent passes either the HD gene, or the other working gene, to their offspring. There is a 50% (1 in 2) chance at each pregnancy that a child of an affected parent will receive the gene for the disease. The gene for Huntington’s is made up of a series of three nucleotides which form the structure of DNA in the gene. In HD, the DNA...
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