Understanding the Huntington Disease: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Understanding the Huntington Disease: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

The Huntington Disease is a genetic disorder that leads to the breakdown of nerve cells in the brain. It affects an individual’s ability to control their movements and mental abilities, leading to physical and cognitive impairments. This disease is difficult to diagnose, and there is no cure. However, early identification of the symptoms and treatment can improve the quality of life for patients and their caregivers.


The Huntington Disease has been a subject of concern for many families and healthcare professionals globally. This article aims to detail the causes, symptoms, and treatments for this disease. By the end of this article, readers will have a better understanding of the disease and its potential effects.

Understanding the Cause

The Huntington Disease is caused by a mutation of the HTT gene located on chromosome 4. When this gene is altered, it creates an abnormal protein called huntingtin. This protein then accumulates in the brain cells, causing them to break down ultimately. Researchers haven’t been able to determine why this happens, but they believe that it may be related to the accumulation of huntingtin.

Symptoms to look for

The Huntington Disease symptoms are classified as motor, cognitive, and behavioral. The severity and timing of these symptoms vary greatly between individuals. In some cases, movement challenges may be the first symptoms to appear, while in others, cognitive issues may emerge. Some individuals may never show cognitive or behavioral symptoms.

Motor symptoms include involuntary movements such as jerky, uncontrolled movements in the arms, legs, or face. These involuntary movements worsen over time. Stiffness, slowness, and impaired coordination and balance also occur.

Cognitive symptoms include challenges in thinking, concentration, planning, and decision making. Short-term memory loss and difficulty performing tasks that require more complex thinking are common.

Behavioral symptoms involve changes in mood, personality, and social interactions. Irritability, depression, anxiety, and social isolation may occur.

Treatment options

There is no cure for the Huntington Disease. However, there are treatments available to reduce some of the symptoms and slow the progression of the disease.

Medications such as tetrabenazine can help manage the involuntary movements. Antidepressants may be prescribed to manage depression or anxiety. Speech therapy can help improve communication skills as speech and language abilities worsen.

In conclusion, the Huntington Disease is a disease that requires more research to understand fully. Though there is no cure, early diagnosis and treatment can improve the quality of life for patients and their caregivers. It is essential to recognize and understand the symptoms to receive treatment early. Anyone suspecting they have the Huntington Disease should promptly seek medical attention.


– Mayo Clinic. (2021). Huntington’s disease. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/huntingtons-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20356117
– National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. (2021). Huntington’s disease information page. https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/All-Disorders/Huntingtons-Disease-Information-Page

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