What is Huntington's Disease?
Huntington's disease is a hereditary, degenerative brain disorder that results in a loss of cognitive, behavioral and physical control - presently, there is no treatment or cure. HD slowly diminishes the affected person's ability to walk, think, talk and reason. Symptoms usually appear in an individual between 30 and 50 years of age and progress over a 10 to 25 year period. Although symptoms often present themselves in the prime of life, HD is not only an adult's disease. Children as young as two have been diagnosed with HD. Those diagnosed with juvenile HD rarely live beyond their teens. Eventually, anyone affected by HD becomes totally dependent upon others for care. More than 30,000 people in the U.S. currently are diagnosed with HD. Each of their siblings or children has a 50 percent chance of developing the disease. Although medications can relieve some symptoms in some individuals, research has yet to find a means of conquering, or even slowing, the deadly progression of HD.
The Society is a National, voluntary health organization dedicated to improving the lives of people with Huntington's disease and their families.