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    Huntington's Disease Genetic Test

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    What is Huntington's Disease?

    Huntington's disease is a rare condition that causes parts of the brain to break down, or degenerate. It is also called Huntington's chorea. The disease causes rapid, jerky body movements and the loss of normal mental abilities (dementia). Huntington's disease can cause personality changes, behavior problems, and memory loss. Symptoms usually develop after age 40. There is no known cure. But treatment with medicines may help control the involuntary movements and behavior changes.

    Huntington's disease is caused by a changed, or mutated, gene. If you have a parent with the disease, you have a 50% chance of getting the changed gene and the disease. But there is no way to know when you will develop Huntington's disease. Some people may pass on the changed gene to a child before knowing that they themselves have the changed gene.

    Recommended Related to Brain & Nervous System

    Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease

    Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is a very rare disorder that causes the brain to break down. Also called "classic" CJD, it worsens quickly. Most people die within a year of getting it. The disease destroys brain cells. Seen through a microscope, it makes the brain look like a sponge. Classic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is not the same as “mad cow disease," which only happens in cattle. It's also not linked to "variant" CJD, which comes from products made from cattle that had mad cow disease.

    Read the Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease article > >

    A blood test can show whether you have the changed gene. You may want to have genetic counseling if you are thinking of having the test. Medical geneticists and genetic counselors are experts who can explain what the test means, tell you the benefits and risks of the test, and answer your questions. But you make the decision about whether to have the test.

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    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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