Huntington disease (HD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease. In other words, it causes parts of the brain to die. As the condition progresses, people with HD may experience involuntary movements and struggle to remember things, make decisions and control their emotions.
HD is genetic, and each child of a parent with HD has a 50 per cent chance of having the disease.
1 in 7,000 Canadians has HD, but 1 in 1,000 will be affected by it—they may have the disease, have a loved one living with it or care for a person with HD.
HD manifests differently in every person, and this means the kinds of symptoms and the severity of the symptoms vary from person to person. A person’s symptoms may also change as the condition progresses.
HD symptoms typically appear between age 35 and 50, but it can also manifest in late adulthood or even in children as young as five. If the onset of HD happens before age 20, it is considered juvenile HD.
No treatments are currently known to stop or slow the progression of HD, but some medications are available to manage a person’s symptoms.
For more information on HD, please visit the Huntington Society of Canada.
Have a story to share about health care? An idea for an article? We value all contributions.