Huntington's disease is an inherited disease that causes the progressive breakdown (degeneration) of nerve cells in the brain. Huntington's disease has a broad impact on a person's functional abilities and usually results in movement, thinking (cognitive) and psychiatric disorders.
Most people with Huntington's disease develop signs and symptoms in their 40s or 50s, but the onset of disease may be earlier or later in life. When disease onset begins before age 20, the condition is called juvenile Huntington's disease. Earlier onset often results in a somewhat different presentation of symptoms and faster disease progression.
Medications are available to help manage the symptoms of Huntington's disease, but treatments can't prevent the physical, mental and behavioral decline associated with the condition.
May. 05, 2011
- Huntington's disease: Hope through research. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/huntington/huntington.htm. Accessed March 24, 2011.
- Rosenblatt A, et al. A physician's guide to the management of Huntington's disease. Huntington's Disease Society of America. http://www.hdsa.org/images/content/1/1/11682.pdf. Accessed March 28, 2011.
- Novak MJ, et al. Huntington's disease. British Medical Journal 2010;340:c3109.
- Depression. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/home/sec07/ch101/ch101b.html. Accessed April 4, 2011.
- Nance M. The juvenile HD handbook: A guide for families. Huntington's Disease Society of America. http://www.hdsa.org/images/content/1/1/11702.pdf. Accessed March 28, 2011.
- Paulsen JS, et al. Critical periods of suicide risk in Huntington's disease. The American Journal of Psychiatry 2005;162:725.
- Frank S, et al. Advances in the pharmacological management of Huntington's disease. Drugs 2010;70:561.
- Suchowersky O. Huntington disease: Management. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed April 4, 2011.
- Katon W, et al. Initial treatment of depression in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed April 4, 2011.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.