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The Causes, Symptoms and Complications of Huntington’s Disease

Huntington’s disease, formerly known as Huntington’s chorea is a rare genetic disease. It strikes people when they are in the prime of life and lets them live as long as 25 years after symptoms first appear. Over time, it destroys the nerve cells in the basal ganglia area of brain which leads to mental and physical deterioration. Huntington’s disease has no cure as of 2019 and is fatal.

Information. There are less than 200,000 cases of Huntington’s disease diagnosed every year in the United States. It is almost always inherited, though there are some cases that come about because of a spontaneous mutation in a gene. The mutation is of the autosomal dominant type, which means that only one parent needs to pass it on. The chances of developing the disease if a parent has it is 50 percent, and the only way to find out if the child has Huntington’s disease is through genetic testing. Its victims are overwhelmingly of European descent, and it strikes women and men equally. Though the disease was probably first described in the 1840s, it was not until 1993 that the mutated gene was discovered. Research into the disease continues as of 2019.

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