Huntington’s disease

Huntington’s disease

Also called Huntington’s chorea, hereditary chorea, chronic progressive chorea, and adult chorea, Huntington’s disease is a hereditary disease in which degeneration in the cerebral cortex and basal ganglia causes chronic progressive chorea (involuntary and irregular movements) and cognitive deterioration, ending in dementia.

Huntington’s disease usually strikes people between ages 25 and 55 (the average age is 35); however, 2% of cases occur in children, and 5%, as late as age 60. Males and females are equally affected. Death usually results 10 to 15 years after onset from suicide, heart failure, or pneumonia.


Huntington’s disease is transmitted as an autosomal dominant trait, and either sex can transmit and inherit it. Each child of a parent with this disease has a 50% chance of inheriting it; the child who inherits it can pass it on to his own children.

Because of hereditary transmission, Huntington’s disease is prevalent in areas in which affected families have lived for several generations. Genetic testing is offered to those with a known family history of the disease.

Signs and symptoms

The onset of this disease is insidious. The patient eventually becomes totally dependent—emotionally and physically—through loss of musculoskeletal control.

Jun 16, 2016 | Posted by in GENERAL & FAMILY MEDICINE | Comments Off on Huntington’s disease

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