Health Encyclopedia

 

 

Huntington's Disease

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

Important

It is possible that the main title of the report Huntington's Disease is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.

Synonyms

  • Chronic Progressive Chorea
  • Degenerative Chorea
  • HD
  • Hereditary Chorea
  • Hereditary Chronic Progressive Chorea
  • Huntington's Chorea
  • Very Early Onset Huntington's Disease
  • Woody Guthrie's Disease
  • VEOHD

Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

General Discussion

Huntington's disease is a genetic, progressive, neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the gradual development of involuntary muscle movements affecting the hands, feet, face, and trunk and progressive deterioration of cognitive processes and memory (dementia). Neurologic movement abnormalities may include uncontrolled, irregular, rapid, jerky movements (chorea) and athetosis, a condition characterized by relatively slow, writhing involuntary movements. Dementia is typically associated with progressive disorientation and confusion, personality disintegration, impairment of memory control, restlessness, agitation, and other symptoms and findings. In individuals with the disorder, disease duration may range from approximately 10 years up to 25 years or more. Life-threatening complications may result from pneumonia or other infections, injuries related to falls, or other associated developments.



Huntington's disease is transmitted as an autosomal dominant trait. The disease results from changes (mutations) of a gene known as "huntington" located on the short arm (p) of chromosome 4 (4p16.3). In those with the disorder, the huntington gene contains errors in the coded "building blocks" (nucleotide bases) that make up the gene's instructions. The gene contains abnormally long repeats of coded instructions consisting of the basic chemicals cytosine, adenine, and guanine (CAG trinucleotide repeat expansion). The length of the expanded repeats may affect the age at symptom onset. The specific symptoms and physical features associated with Huntington's disease result from degeneration of nerve cells (neurons) within certain areas of the brain (e.g., basal ganglia, cerebral cortex).

Resources

Huntington's Disease Society of America

505 Eighth Avenue

Suite 902

New York, NY 10018

USA

Tel: (212)242-1968

Fax: (212)239-3430

Tel: (800)345-4372

Email: hdsainfo@hdsa.org

Internet: http://www.hdsa.org



WE MOVE (Worldwide Education and Awareness for Movement Disorders)

5731 Mosholu Avenue

Bronx, NY 10471

USA

Tel: (347)843-6132

Fax: (718)601-5112

Email: wemove@wemove.org

Internet: http://www.wemove.org



March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation

1275 Mamaroneck Avenue

White Plains, NY 10605

Tel: (914)997-4488

Fax: (914)997-4763

Tel: (888)663-4637

Email: Askus@marchofdimes.com

Internet: http://www.marchofdimes.com



Hereditary Disease Foundation

3960 Broadway, 6th Floor

New York, NY 10032

Tel: (212)928-2121

Fax: (212)928-2172

Email: cures@hdfoundation.org

Internet: http://www.hdfoundation.org



Huntington Society of Canada

151 Frederick St, Suite 400

Kitchner

Ontario, N2H 2M2

Canada

Tel: 5197497063

Fax: 5197498965

Tel: 8009987398

Email: info@huntingtonsociety.ca

Internet: http://www.huntingtonsociety.ca/english/index.asp



NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

P.O. Box 5801

Bethesda, MD 20824

Tel: (301)496-5751

Fax: (301)402-2186

Tel: (800)352-9424

TDD: (301)468-5981

Internet: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/



Alzheimer's Foundation of America

322 8th Ave, 7th Floor

New York, NY 10001

USA

Tel: (866)232-8484

Fax: (646)638-1546

Tel: (866)232-8484

Email: info@alzfdn.org

Internet: http://www.alzfdn.org



New Horizons Un-Limited, Inc.

811 East Wisconsin Ave

P.O. Box 510034

Milwaukee, WI 53203

USA

Tel: (414)299-0124

Fax: (414)347-1977

Email: horizons@new-horizons.org

Internet: http://www.new-horizons.org



Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center

PO Box 8126

Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126

Tel: (301)251-4925

Fax: (301)251-4911

Tel: (888)205-2311

TDD: (888)205-3223

Internet: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/GARD/



Madisons Foundation

PO Box 241956

Los Angeles, CA 90024

Tel: (310)264-0826

Fax: (310)264-4766

Email: getinfo@madisonsfoundation.org

Internet: http://www.madisonsfoundation.org



UCSF Memory and Aging Center

350 Parnassus Avenue

Suite 905

San Francisco, CA 94117

Tel: (415)476-6880

Fax: (415)476-4800

Email: mgeschwind@memory.ucsf.edu

Internet: http://www.memory.ucsf.edu



Advocacy for Neuroacanthocytosis Patients

32 Launceston Place

London, W8 5RN

United Kingdom

Tel: 4402079372938

Email: glenn@naadvocacy.org

Internet: http://www.naadvocacy.org



Movement Disorder Society

555 E. Wells Street

Suite 1100

Milwaukee, WI 53202-3823

Tel: (414)276-2145

Fax: (414)276-3349

Email: info@movementdisorders.org

Internet: http://www.movementdisorders.org



Huntington's Disease Youth Organization

116 Yewdale Crescent

Coventry

England

CV2 2FT

Tel: (782)179-9554

Email: questions@hdyo.org

Internet: http://www.HDYO.org



For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site www.rarediseases.org or email orphan@rarediseases.org

Last Updated:  8/15/2008

Copyright  1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.