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Huntington's Disease

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Jake Summerour

on 26 April 2010

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Transcript of Huntington's Disease

Huntington's Disease By: Jake Summerour Signs and Symptoms Treatments and/or Cure History of Illness/disorder Transmission Frequency New Research The symptoms of Huntington’s advance as the disease does. Early signs of the disorder include mood swings, depression, irritability, trouble with motor skills, and small neurological problems such as learning new things, memory, and decision-making. Later on, in the progression of the disease, patients will experience increased difficulty focusing on certain tasks and may have trouble feeding themselves. There is currently no known cure or any way to reverse Huntington’s disease. Any medications prescribed to treat HD are solely for the purpose of controlling some of the symptoms, but these will have side effects. In 2008 tetrabenazine became the first drug approved by the FDA to treat HD; it controls the involuntary movements that occur from the disease. Physical fitness is strongly recommended for those with the disease because people who exercise will tend to do much better. Huntington’s disease was first discovered in 1872 by a 22-year old American doctor, George Huntington. He made his discovery while investigating and writing a paper on chorea, the involuntary jerks or twitches that are associated with Huntington’s; because of this the disease was originally known as Huntington’s chorea. Huntington’s is a dominant disorder. The gene causing the disease is located on the forth chromosome making it autosomal. Huntington’s is caused by a multiple repeat mutation similar to that in other genetic disorders showing the same symptoms. It is estimated that about 30,000 people in the United States have Huntington’s disease. That is about 1 in every 10,000 people, or .0001% of the population. This disorder is most common in people of European descent occurring in about 3 to 7 out of every 100,000 people. It is far less prevalent in those of African or Asian descent. In 2007 scientists discovered a protein found in people affected by Huntington’s. The protein causes 57 genes in the brain not to function properly. They do believe that this protein could potentially be stopped with the same drugs used to treat some cancers. Bibliography
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The onset of this disease occurs between the ages of 20 to 49.
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