Essay Color Key

Free Essays
Unrated Essays
Better Essays
Stronger Essays
Powerful Essays
Term Papers
Research Papers





Huntington's Disease

Rate This Paper:
:: 7 Sources Cited
Length: 662 words (1.9 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Red (FREE)      
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Huntington's Disease

Huntington's Disease (HD) is a dominant genetic disorder. Each child of a person who has HD has a 50% chance of inheriting the disease, and the disease does not skip a generation. HD is caused by a larger than normal CAG repeat in the Huntington gene. This larger than normal CAG repeat produces an abnormal protein that begins to kill brain cells when the person who has the gene reaches middle age. The loss of these cells causes intense symptoms and eventually death.

HD was named after Dr. George Huntington. In 1872, he was the first person to document an accurate description of the symptoms and course of the disease. At the time he called it “hereditary chorea”. The Huntington gene was discovered in 1993 by the Huntington Study Group. The CAG repeats in the Huntington gene, which is located on chromosome 4, code for the protein huntingtin. The larger than normal number of CAGs in a person with HD causes the huntingtin protein to be abnormal, which leads to symptoms. Even though every cell in the body has the gene, only the cells in the brain seem to be affected.

A person has two alleles for every gene. One allele is inherited from the mother and one allele is inherited from the father. If either allele of the Huntington gene has the larger than normal CAG repeat, the person will have HD. If neither allele has the larger than normal CAG repeat, the person will not have HD and will not pass it on. When a person has children, only one allele of each gene is passed on. If a person with HD passes on the allele with the larger than normal CAG repeat, the child will have HD. If the allele with the normal CAG is passed on, the child will not have HD.

Early signs of HD are mood swings, irritability, depression, memory loss, and uncontrolled movements. As the disease progresses, it becomes more difficult to walk and speak. Also, memory and intellectual functions continue to decline.

A person who has a chance of inheriting HD can be tested any time after they reach the age of 21. Testing for the HD gene entails a blood sample genetic test that analyzes DNA for HD mutation by counting the number of CAG repeats in the HD gene region. A person will not get HD if their CAG repeats are lower than 30. If a person's CAG repeats are higher than 40 they will get HD. A person may or may not get HD if their CAG repeats are between 30-40. This is a gray area for researchers and they are still trying to understand why. A person isn't actually diagnosed with HD until they show symptoms.

Although there is no cure for HD, there are treatments for some symptoms. For involuntary movements, a person with HD is likely to be prescribed a neuroleptic such as Tetrabenazine, Reserpine, Trilaton (perhenazine), or Haldol. For depression, Fluoxetine, Sertraline Hydrochloride, or Nortriptyline are commonly used. Also, tranquilizers can be used to treat anxiety, and Lithium can be used for persons with severe mood swings. Speech therapy can also improve speech and swallowing for a person with HD. It is important that a person diagnosed with HD maintains a high calorie diet, not only to prevent weight loss, but it has also been shown to improve involuntary movement and behavioral problems.

Works Cited

Bomber, Jason, Ben Goltz, Dana Moody, Jessica Velter. "Huntington's Disease Home Page." http://www.macalester.edu/~psych/whathap/UBNRP/Huntington/huntindex.html Viewed Sept. 11, 2002.

Calgary Health Region Learning and Development. "Your Health: Huntington Disease." Reviewed July 2000. http://www.calgaryhealthregion.ca/hlthconn/items/hunt-dis.htm Viewed Sept. 11, 2002.

Canadian Movement Disorder Group. “Huntington's Disease.” http://www.cmdg.org/Movement_/huntingt/huntingt.htm Viewed Sept. 11, 2002.

Davis, Renette. "Huntington's Disease Information." http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/~rd13/hd/ Personal Interview. Sept. 11, 2002.

"Huntington Disease". http://www.yourgenesyourhealth.org/ygyh/mason/ygyh.html?syndrome=hd§ion=whatisit&video=0 Viewed Sept. 11, 2002.

Huntington Study Group. "Huntington's Disease Overview" http://www.huntington-study-group.org/HUNTINGTON%27S%20DISEASE%20OVERVIEW.html Viewed Sept. 11, 2002.

Huntington's Disease Society of America Indiana Chapter. "What is HD". http://hdsaindiana.org/hd.html Viewed Sept. 11, 2002.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Huntington's Disease." 123HelpMe.com. 23 Aug 2014
    <http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=44030>.




Related Searches





Important Note: If you'd like to save a copy of the paper on your computer, you can COPY and PASTE it into your word processor. Please, follow these steps to do that in Windows:

1. Select the text of the paper with the mouse and press Ctrl+C.
2. Open your word processor and press Ctrl+V.

Company's Liability

123HelpMe.com (the "Web Site") is produced by the "Company". The contents of this Web Site, such as text, graphics, images, audio, video and all other material ("Material"), are protected by copyright under both United States and foreign laws. The Company makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the Material or about the results to be obtained from using the Material. You expressly agree that any use of the Material is entirely at your own risk. Most of the Material on the Web Site is provided and maintained by third parties. This third party Material may not be screened by the Company prior to its inclusion on the Web Site. You expressly agree that the Company is not liable or responsible for any defamatory, offensive, or illegal conduct of other subscribers or third parties.

The Materials are provided on an as-is basis without warranty express or implied. The Company and its suppliers and affiliates disclaim all warranties, including the warranty of non-infringement of proprietary or third party rights, and the warranty of fitness for a particular purpose. The Company and its suppliers make no warranties as to the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the material, services, text, graphics and links.

For a complete statement of the Terms of Service, please see our website. By obtaining these materials you agree to abide by the terms herein, by our Terms of Service as posted on the website and any and all alterations, revisions and amendments thereto.



Return to 123HelpMe.com

Copyright © 2000-2013 123HelpMe.com. All rights reserved. Terms of Service