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Huntington's Disease: Symptoms and Treatment

Causes

In 1993, researchers found the gene that causes Huntington's. Everyone has the HD gene, but in some families an abnormal copy of the gene gets passed from parent to child. If you have a parent with Huntington's disease, you have a 50% chance of having the gene and developing the disease.

Also:

  • Men and women are equally likely to inherit the abnormal gene.
  • If you don't have the abnormal gene, you can't get Huntington's or pass it on to your children.
  • The disease doesn't skip generations.

If you or members of your family plan to be tested for Huntington's, it's a good idea to get professional genetic counseling first. Counselors can help explain what to expect from the test results.

With knowledge about the HD gene, scientists have been able to learn a great deal about how the disease affects the brain. More importantly, this discovery may help pave the way for future treatment.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD on January 09, 2014
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