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    Huntington's Disease

    Important
    It is possible that the main title of the report Huntington's Disease is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.

    Synonyms

    • Chronic Progressive Chorea
    • Degenerative Chorea
    • HD
    • Hereditary Chorea
    • Hereditary Chronic Progressive Chorea
    • Huntington's Chorea
    • Very Early Onset Huntington's Disease
    • Woody Guthrie's Disease
    • VEOHD

    Disorder Subdivisions

    • None

    General Discussion

    Huntington's disease is a genetic, progressive, neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the gradual development of involuntary muscle movements affecting the hands, feet, face, and trunk and progressive deterioration of cognitive processes and memory (dementia). Neurologic movement abnormalities may include uncontrolled, irregular, rapid, jerky movements (chorea) and athetosis, a condition characterized by relatively slow, writhing involuntary movements. Dementia is typically associated with progressive disorientation and confusion, personality disintegration, impairment of memory control, restlessness, agitation, and other symptoms and findings. In individuals with the disorder, disease duration may range from approximately 10 years up to 25 years or more. Life-threatening complications may result from pneumonia or other infections, injuries related to falls, or other associated developments.

    Huntington's disease is transmitted as an autosomal dominant trait. The disease results from changes (mutations) of a gene known as "huntington" located on the short arm (p) of chromosome 4 (4p16.3). In those with the disorder, the huntington gene contains errors in the coded "building blocks" (nucleotide bases) that make up the gene's instructions. The gene contains abnormally long repeats of coded instructions consisting of the basic chemicals cytosine, adenine, and guanine (CAG trinucleotide repeat expansion). The length of the expanded repeats may affect the age at symptom onset. The specific symptoms and physical features associated with Huntington's disease result from degeneration of nerve cells (neurons) within certain areas of the brain (e.g., basal ganglia, cerebral cortex).

    Resources

    Huntington's Disease Society of America
    505 Eighth Avenue
    Suite 902
    New York, NY 10018
    USA
    Tel: (212)242-1968
    Fax: (212)239-3430
    Tel: (800)345-4372
    Email: hdsainfo@hdsa.org
    Internet: http://www.hdsa.org

    WE MOVE (Worldwide Education and Awareness for Movement Disorders)
    5731 Mosholu Avenue
    Bronx, NY 10471
    USA
    Tel: (347)843-6132
    Fax: (718)601-5112
    Email: wemove@wemove.org
    Internet: http://www.wemove.org

    March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation
    1275 Mamaroneck Avenue
    White Plains, NY 10605
    Tel: (914)997-4488
    Fax: (914)997-4763
    Tel: (888)663-4637
    Email: Askus@marchofdimes.com
    Internet: http://www.marchofdimes.com

    Hereditary Disease Foundation
    3960 Broadway, 6th Floor
    New York, NY 10032
    Tel: (212)928-2121
    Fax: (212)928-2172
    Email: cures@hdfoundation.org
    Internet: http://www.hdfoundation.org

    Huntington Society of Canada
    151 Frederick St, Suite 400
    Kitchner
    Ontario, N2H 2M2
    Canada
    Tel: 5197497063
    Fax: 5197498965
    Tel: 8009987398
    Email: info@huntingtonsociety.ca
    Internet: http://www.huntingtonsociety.ca/english/index.asp

    NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
    P.O. Box 5801
    Bethesda, MD 20824
    Tel: (301)496-5751
    Fax: (301)402-2186
    Tel: (800)352-9424
    TDD: (301)468-5981
    Internet: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/

    Alzheimer's Foundation of America
    322 8th Ave, 7th Floor
    New York, NY 10001
    USA
    Tel: (866)232-8484
    Fax: (646)638-1546
    Tel: (866)232-8484
    Email: info@alzfdn.org
    Internet: http://www.alzfdn.org

    New Horizons Un-Limited, Inc.
    811 East Wisconsin Ave
    P.O. Box 510034
    Milwaukee, WI 53203
    USA
    Tel: (414)299-0124
    Fax: (414)347-1977
    Email: horizons@new-horizons.org
    Internet: http://www.new-horizons.org

    Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
    PO Box 8126
    Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
    Tel: (301)251-4925
    Fax: (301)251-4911
    Tel: (888)205-2311
    TDD: (888)205-3223
    Internet: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/GARD/

    Madisons Foundation
    PO Box 241956
    Los Angeles, CA 90024
    Tel: (310)264-0826
    Fax: (310)264-4766
    Email: getinfo@madisonsfoundation.org
    Internet: http://www.madisonsfoundation.org

    UCSF Memory and Aging Center
    350 Parnassus Avenue
    Suite 905
    San Francisco, CA 94117
    Tel: (415)476-6880
    Fax: (415)476-4800
    Email: mgeschwind@memory.ucsf.edu
    Internet: http://www.memory.ucsf.edu

    Advocacy for Neuroacanthocytosis Patients
    32 Launceston Place
    London, W8 5RN
    United Kingdom
    Tel: 4402079372938
    Email: glenn@naadvocacy.org
    Internet: http://www.naadvocacy.org

    Movement Disorder Society
    555 E. Wells Street
    Suite 1100
    Milwaukee, WI 53202-3823
    Tel: (414)276-2145
    Fax: (414)276-3349
    Email: info@movementdisorders.org
    Internet: http://www.movementdisorders.org

    Huntington's Disease Youth Organization
    116 Yewdale Crescent
    Coventry
    England
    CV2 2FT
    Tel: (782)179-9554
    Email: questions@hdyo.org
    Internet: http://www.HDYO.org

    For a Complete Report:

    This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

    The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

    It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report

    This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

    For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site www.rarediseases.org or email orphan@rarediseases.org

    Last Updated: 8/15/2008
    Copyright 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

    WebMD Medical Reference from the National Organization for Rare Disorders

    Last Updated: May 28, 2015
    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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