Huntington’s disease (HD) is affecting lives of around 30,000 Americans as an incapacitating hereditary disorder according to a study conducted by Huntington’s Disease Society of America.
What are the causes?
Huntington disease occurs due to a mutation of a gene which leads to irregular functioning by breakdown of nerve cells in the patient’s brain, as explained by a MD of UCLA’s Huntington’s disease Centre and a neurologist, Susan Perlman.
According to Perlman, within 20-30 years after the symptoms appear in a person of Huntington disease, cell destruction and death ends up in the death of the sufferer as well along with additional signs of pneumonia, sepsis etc.
Perlman tells that initial signs of Huntington disease appear in basal ganglia region of the brain which is linked to the mutated (changed) gene.
The primary signs of the disease are divided into three different categories:
1. Physical Symptoms
Symptoms like involuntary movements or tics (chorea) manifest themselves in the beginning of the onset of HD where patient is unaware of regular tapping of finger or twitching of face or some kind of non-coordinated movement. Usually friends and family members notice these changes in them.