Huntington's Disease

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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 descriptions (Folstein). George Huntington’s paper was the best and first to describe Huntington’s disease, which was presented at a meeting of “Meigs and Mason Academy of Medicine at Middleport, Ohio, in 1872,” (Folstein). Shortly after 1900, papers on Huntington’s disease gradually began appearing in case reports and psychiatric literature (Folstein). In 1936, Huntington’s disease appeared twice in two different letters to an editor about eugenics, which is defined as “improving the species by regulating human reproduction,” (Bakalar). These letters named Huntington's disease as one of five diseases that should be considered for voluntary sterilization (Bakalar). In 1967, the first symposium devoted to Huntington’s disease was held inside of a larger conference on neurogenetics in 1967 (Folstein). By 1968, George Willem Bruyn had published the first complete review of all of the Huntington’s disease literature that had been published up until that point in time (Folstein).

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Folstein, Susan E. Huntington’s Disease. Baltimore: The John’s Hopkins University

Press, 1989. Print. 3 April 2012.

Genetic Science Learning Center. "Huntington's Disease." Learn. Genetics. Web. 23

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Miller, Marsha L. “HD Research – Past and Future.” Huntington’s Disease Society of

America. 2011. Web. 23 March 2012.

Schoenstadt, Arthur M.D. “Huntington’s Disease Statistics.” eMedTV. Last reviewed 30 November, 2006. Web. 25 April 2012.

Sheth, Kevin. “Huntington’s disease.” PubMed Health. Last reviewed 30 April 2011.

Web. 20 March 2012.

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