Huntington's Disease

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Huntington’s disease can be described as a genetic disorder in which nerve cells in the brain start to degenerate. A single abnormal gene, the basic biological units of heredity, produces Huntington’s disease. There are many symptoms, genetic tests, and treatments to the disease, although there is no cure. Someone whom has Huntington’s disease will show symptoms. There may be behavioral changes before movement problems like: hallucinations, irritability, paranoia, or restlessness. They might also show signs of abnormal movement like: sudden jerking movements or the limbs, slow uncontrolled movements, and head turning to shift eye position. Other symptoms are loss of memory, personality changes, speech impairment, difficulty swallowing, anxiety, and stress. Genes are composed of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). DNA is shaped like a spiral ladder. On each “step” of this ladder there are two paired chemicals called bases. There are four types of bases, adenine (A), thymine (T), cytosine (C), and guanine (G). Certain bases pair together for example adenine pairs with thymine, and cytosine pairs with guanine. Different combinations of base pairs join to form coded messages in our DNA. For example the different combinations of A, T, C, and G determine the genes function. There are tens of thousands of genes and base pairs of DNA repeated in the nuclei of human cells which can determine an individual’s characteristics. These genes are arranged in specific locations along 23 pairs of chromosomes. One chromosome from each of the pairs comes from that person’s mother, and the other from their father. There is one specific pair which is the 23rd pair which determines the sex of an individual. Other than that the other pairs are similar in bot... ... middle of paper ... ... A.D.A.M. Editorial. Huntington Disease. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 28 May 2013. Web. 12 Apr. 2014. "Huntington Disease." - Genetics Home Reference. National Institute of Health, June 2013. Web. 12 Apr. 2014. "NINDS Huntington's Disease Information Page." Huntington's Disease Information Page: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). National Institute of Health, 5 Dec. 2013. Web. 14 Apr. 2014. Collins, Lucy M, Stanley E Lazic, and Roger A Barker. "A Retrospective Analysis Of Hand Tapping As A Longitudinal Marker Of Disease Progression In Huntington's Disease." BMC Neurology 14.(2014): 35. MEDLINE. Web. 28 Apr. 2014. Andersson, Petra Lilja, et al. "Ethical Aspects Of Undergoing A Predictive Genetic Testing For Huntington's Disease." Nursing Ethics 20.2 (2013): 189-199. Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition. Web. 28 Apr. 2014.

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