Huntington's Disease Home Page

In 1872 Dr. George Huntington of published his account of what he called "hereditary chorea". This is the first description of the disease that now bears his name.

Huntington's Disease (HD) is an inherited neurodegenerative disease that results in progressive motor, emotional, and cognitive impairments. A terminal disease, it is characterized by chorea (uncontrollable jerking and writhing movements) and gradual worsening cognitive and emotional control caused by destruction of groups of cells in the brain called basal ganglia. Huntington's Disease is found in all races all over the world, but is more prevalent in Northern European populations when compared to African or Asian. The average age of onset is between the ages of 30 and 50 but the disease can develop at any age and has been found in the elderly as well as the very young. The symptoms manifest themselves gradually, usually lasting for 15-20 years after first surfacing. Huntington's is an autosomal dominant genetic disorder, meaning that if a parent has the defective Huntington's gene, his/her offspring have a 50/50 chance of also developing the disease.

Until 20 or so years ago, very little was known and very little literature was available pertaining to Huntington's Disease, but recently all that has changed. In 1993 the gene that causes HD, huntingtin, was discovered and from that great progress has been made. While no cure yet exists, there is a large push in research to develop one and in most cases Huntington's patients can maintain independence for several years after the onset of symptoms. Several treatments are now available or being tested for effectiveness, and the Huntington's patient has several options open to him/her.

The purpose of this site is to provide information on Huntington's Disease and how it affects the body. Because it is a neurodegenerative disease of genetic origin, we will especially focus on the genetic and neuroanatomic aspects of HD. We will also provide information regarding treatments, both available and experimental.

Symptoms

Genetics

Physiology and Neuroanatomy of Huntington's

Treatments

Glossary

References

Related Links

If you have any questions or comments you can contact the authors directly here:
  • Jason Bomberger
  • Ben Goltz
  • Dana Moody
  • Jessica Vetter