Essay on Understanding Huntington's Disease

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Understanding Huntington's Disease

Huntington's disease is an inherited neurodegenerative disorder. It is passed on to children from one or both parents (though two parents with Huntington's is extraordinarily rare) in an autosomal dominant manner. This is different from autosomal recessive disorder, which requires two altered genes (one from each parent) to inherit the disorder.
So if one parent has it, and passes the gene on to a child, that child will develop Huntington's disease if they live long enough and each of that child's' children will have a 50% chance of inheriting the gene, and so on and so forth. If you do not have the HD gene you can't pass it on to your children and if your mate doesn't have it then there is no way
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It tends to lessen in the later stages. When the disease occurs in childhood (less than 10% of cases) Chorea is more severe and may coincide with rigidity or muscle stiffness and movement restriction. Both chorea and rigidity interfere with coordination and mobility. Changes in mood are not readily noticeable as they are slow to manifest and can be interpreted as something else (i.e. HD causes depression but so does our society so this symptom often gets overlooked) Anxiety, irritability, rage, mania, and psychosis are also common symptoms. Cognition (the mental process characterized by thinking, learning, and judging) is affected early in the disease and gets worse over time. Individuals will have problems with math, memory, judgment and verbal fluency. It is very difficult for someone with HD to learn a new task, especially in the later stages of development. There currently is neither a cure nor FDA approved medical treatment for Huntington's disease. The life expectancy is 15 -- 20 years after development begins, and though Huntington's itself doesn't directly kill the individual, it causes so many functional breakdowns in the body that the person can no longer perform basic physical operations such as swallowing and as such a common cause of death is choking or respitory infection.

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Huntington disease is caused by the expansion of a
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