Huntington’s Disease (HD) is a genetic neuromuscular disease that causes progressive breakdown of nerve cells in the brain. HD has a broad impact on functional abilities and usually results in movement, thinking and psychiatric disorders. Symptoms usually begin in individuals between 30 and 50 years of age with an average life span after onset of symptoms to be 15 to 20 years. Every child of a parent carrying the gene has a 50% chance of inheriting HD. Scientists have now discovered the gene that causes HD, known as HTT, on the short arm of chromosome 4. HD is caused by the abnormal and multiple (36 or more) repeats of an unstable Cytosine-Adenosine-Guanine sequence in the HTT gene coding for a cytoplasmic protein known as huntingtin. There is currently no cure for HD.
Research for HD has been a constant. As early as 1993 the gene which detects HD was found. In spite of the fact that many more answers are needed, there is hope. A role exists for everyone; researcher, caregiver, supporter etc.. Healthy individuals have stepped up in new & creative ways helping those in need. Now is our time to ‘Do Something’!