Huntington's is a hereditary disease affecting the areas in the brain which control movement, thinking and emotion. The onset of symptoms usually occurs between the ages of 30 and 50 and the disease progresses slowly over time. In Western countries Huntington’s occurs at a rate of seven to ten per 100,000 people.
The genetic mutation which is responsible for Huntington’s was discovered by scientists in 1993. Each child of a parent with Huntington’s carries a 50 per cent risk of inheriting the Huntington’s gene. If they do not inherit the gene, they and their descendants will not be affected.
Symptoms of Huntington’s disease
Symptoms usually develop in progressive stages and can be classified as physical, cognitive and emotional.
Short-term memory loss
Mild twitching of the fingers and toes
Difficulty in concentrating and planning
Poor coordination, clumsiness
Mood swings, apathy and aggression
Difficulty in walking
Jerky involuntary movements of the arms or legs (chorea)
Problems with speaking and swallowing
MSWA supports people living with Huntington’s.
Visit our Support and Services section to see how we can assist you.