What is Huntington disease?
Huntington disease (HD) is an inherited brain disorder. The name Huntington is used as tribute to George Huntington, the American doctor who first reported his description of the disorder in 1872. Chorea is the Greek word for dance, which reflects the involuntary movements associated with HD. The term Huntington disease is now commonly used to refer to the illness.
The symptoms usually include a movement disorder, personality changes and intellectual decline. Men and women are affected equally.
Symptoms of HD usually begin between 30 and 50 years of age, although they may begin at any age, and progressively worsen over a period of 10 to 25 years. At present, there is no cure for HD, but research is advancing at a rapid pace and offers much hope for the future.
Because HD is hereditary, it is a family disease. Although all family members will not be affected physically, everyone will be affected emotionally, socially, and very often financially.
We understand that learning that someone in your family has HD can be devastating. It can leave you with questions, concerns, and no idea where to turn next. Find more about what others have done in your situation – you are not alone.
Testing for HD
The decision about whether or not to have testing for HD is a very complex and personal one. For some, the test provides information about their future. Others choose not to undergo testing. There are no right or wrong choices. We will help you to make an informed choice regarding testing, and support you through the whole process.
There are many other online websites and resources which provide information regarding HD in general, support groups in your area, research updates and opportunities to be involved in clinical trials.