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Susan Manahan


Huntington’s Disease (HD) is a genetic neurodegenerative disease that is the result of a mutation of the huntingtin gene. The gene is passed in an autosomal dominant fashion and is the result of multiple Cystine, Adenine, and Guanine base repeats. HD symptoms manifest as motor, cognitive, and psychological symptoms that can range of chorea movements to depression or apathy. The disease progresses through various prodromal and clinical stages as the disease starts to manifest. The current technique to diagnose HD is the use of direct genetic testing, which counts the number of repeats. Due to the nature of HD, both the diagnosis and the symptoms of the disease themselves can cause psychological impacts for the individual impacted, the caregiver(s), and for those that are determined to be non-carriers. Currently, most of the HD treatments are focused on symptom management as there is no cure. These treatments can include prescription medications, non-medical forms of treatment, genetic-based treatments, and preventative measures. By providing an overview of HD, how it is diagnosed, the psychological aspects of the disease, and the overall treatments for the disease, it is the hope that awareness to HD can be increased to help improve general knowledge and to increase research efforts.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License