Huntington's Disease (HD) is an inherited, progressively degenerative brain disorder that results in a loss of both mental faculties and physical control. At this time there is no known treatment or cure.
Symptoms usually appear in an individual between 30-50 years of age and progresses over a 10-25 year period. The juvenile form of HD can strike as early as 2 years of age. The younger the age at the onset of HD, the faster the progression of HD. HD affects the individual's ability to think, speak, swallow and walk. Ultimately, the weakened individual succumbs to choking, pneumonia, heart failure or other complications.
1 in 10,000 has HD in America. Each child of a parent with HD has a 50% chance of inheriting the gene. HD does not skip generations, if one does inherit the gene, he or she will develop HD. In 1993, the discovery of the gene that causes Huntington's Disease made possible a new predictive test. Those "at risk" for HD can mow find out whether they carry the gene before symptoms arise. Decisions can be made about careers, marriage, child-bearing and other long term issues, But because there are few therapeutic options in combating HD, not every individual "at risk" for the devastating disease will choose to have the test performed.
HDSA is a national voluntary non-profit health organization dedicated to findin a cure for Huntington's Disease while providing support and services for those living with HD and their families. Founded in 1967, HDSA and the Rocky Mountain Chapter promotes and supports both basic and clinical HD research, aids families throughout the continuum of HD and educates families, the public and healthcare professionals about this devastating disease.