Huntington's Disease Essay

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Huntington’s disease is a degenerative neurological disorder affecting movement, cognition, and emotional state (Schoenstadt). There are two forms of Huntington’s disease (Sheth). The most common is adult-onset Huntington’s disease, with persons usually developing symptoms in their middle 30s and 40s (Sheth). There is an early onset form of Huntington’s disease, beginning in childhood or adolescence, and makes up a small percentage of the Huntington’s population (Sheth). Huntington’s disease is a genetic disorder with a short history, a plethora of symptoms, and devastating consequences, with no current cure in sight. Cases of Huntington’s disease date back to the early seventeenth century, but those records are basic, with no convincing…show more content…
Every cell within the body contains all of these chromosomes, which have bases arranged to form a code (Appai-Kubi). The four bases, cytosine, adenine, guanine, and thymine, interact to form the fundamental structure of DNA (Appai-Kubi). Huntington’s disease is found on the fourth chromosome and is identified by a sequence known as the “CAG repeat,” (Appai-Kubi). In someone who is not afflicted, the number of “CAG repeats,” ranges from 10 to 28 (Sheth). Typically, more than 35 “CAG repeats,” is associated with Huntington’s disease, however, there are cases with people not afflicted having up to 39 “CAG repeats,” (Appai-Kubi). The number of repeats generally increases as the gene is passed on through families. An increase number of “CAG repeats,” generally means earlier development of symptoms (Sheth). ). Huntington’s disease is inherited through an autosomal dominant pattern; meaning that whoever inherits the faulty gene will definitely develop the disease during their lifetime (Genetic Science Learning Center). A parent with the Huntington’s disease mutation has a 50% chance of passing on the gene for the disease to their children (Genetic Science Learning Center). A small number of cases (1 to 3 percent) occur without family history of Huntington’s disease (Schoenstadt). Huntington’s disease can be tested for by looking at the number “CAG repeats,” on chromosome 4 (Appai-Kubi.) During pregnancy, a

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