Huntington’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that is hereditary in nature. People suffering from Huntington’s disease suffer from weaker muscle coordination, and this causes psychiatric problems. The cause of Huntington’s disease is a single gene defect. The prognosis of this disease is that it is caused when the Huntingtin gene, which has a trinucleotide repeat, its length extends from a particular threshold, it causes the genetic mutation mHtt, which causes Huntington ’s disease. The length of the repeat is inversely proportional to the age at which Huntington’s disease sets in.
Huntington’s disease can be divided into two types, early and adult onset. When it comes to adult onset, the symptoms begin only when the people reach the age of thirty or even forty. The major symptoms of Huntington’s disease are depression, hallucinations, poor coordination, and trouble in making decisions and even psychosis in some cases.
Early onset Huntington’s disease is not very common, and the symptoms are seen during childhood or even adolescence. When it comes to kids, these diseases cause several changes in the mental and physical psyche of the person and can even bring about some changes in the emotional makeup of the particular child.
Children show drooling, slurred speech, falling frequently, and a sudden decline in their academic or professional performance. Some might even have rigid muscles and in other cases, seizures. There are various tests that can be undertaken to find out whether a person suffers from the disease like neurological tests for coordination, reflexes, strength, vision, hearing, etc. In case of seizures, one would need to undergo an EEG to find out whether the person suffers from Huntington’s disease. Other tests that might be used are MRI scans, CT scans and some Psychiatric tests as well as genetic testing.
As the disease progresses, people can experience a difficulty in walking, a twitching movement that they cannot control and even trouble while swallowing and speaking. Some might even experience memory loss and confusion. In some cases, personality and speech changes have also been observed.
Though there is no known treatment for Huntington’s disease at the moment, there are several medications available that can manage and keep the disease in check, and the treatment cost would vary.