Huntington's disease (HD) results from genetically programmed degeneration of brain cells, called neurons, in certain areas of the brain. This degeneration causes uncontrolled movements, loss of intellectual faculties, and emotional disturbance. HD is a familial disease, passed from parent to child through a mutation in the normal gene. Each child of an HD parent has a 50-50 chance of inheriting the HD gene. If a child does not inherit the HD gene, he or she will not develop the disease and cannot pass it to subsequent generations. A person who inherits the HD gene will sooner or later develop the disease. Whether one child inherits the gene has no bearing on whether others will or will not inherit the gene. Some early symptoms of HD are mood swings, depression, irritability or trouble driving, learning new things, remembering a fact, or making a decision. As the disease progresses, concentration on intellectual tasks becomes increasingly difficult and the patient may have difficulty feeding himself or herself and swallowing. The rate of disease progression and the age of onset vary from person to person. A genetic test, coupled with a complete medical history and neurological and laboratory tests, helps physicians diagnose HD. Presymptomic testing is available for individuals who are at risk for carrying the HD gene. In 1 to 3 percent of individuals with HD, no family history of HD can be found.
Spinal cord injury (SCI) often causes disability and seriously compromises quality of life. While decades of research have made significant progress in axonal regeneration after SCI, most of the interventions have not been translated into clinical therapies.
A world first clinical study of the gut microbiome in people with Huntington's disease (HD) has found that it is not just a disease of the brain, but also of the body.
Huntington disease is a progressive debilitating brain disorder that causes uncontrolled movements, psychological problems, and loss of cognition.
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Scientists have described a potential new therapeutic strategy for slowing down early-stage Huntington's disease in a new study published today in eLife.
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More than a decade before people with Huntington's disease show symptoms, they can exhibit abnormally high levels of an immune-system molecule called interleukin-6 (IL-6), which has led many researchers to suspect IL-6 of promoting the eventual neurological devastation associated with the genetic condition.