Huntington’s Disease (HD)

Huntington's Disease (HD) is the result of genetically-programmed degeneration of neurons in certain parts of the brain. It causes emotional problems, loss of intellectual function and uncontrolled movements. HD is genetic, and is passed from parent to child through a mutation in the normal gene. If your parent has HD, then there is a 50% chance you'll inherit it. If you don't, you will not develop Huntington's Disease or pass it to your offspring.

Some early signs of HD include: depression, irritability, trouble driving, remembering facts or making decisions, and mood swings. Intellectual tasks become harder and harder for the HD patient as the disease progresses, and he/she may have trouble feeding him/herself.

There are a number of medications prescribed to help control movement and emotional issues associated with Huntington's Disease. The majority of drugs used to help HD patients have side effects, including fatigue, hyperexcitability and restlessness.