Huntington’s Disease Essay

Many of you may not know much about Huntington’s disease. After reading this paper and the subsequent ones to come, you surely will. According to PudMedHealth. com, “Huntington’s disease is a disorder passed down through families in which nerve cells in certain parts of the brain waste away or degenerate. ” This can lead to many different complications to a person’s health. In most cases, the disease’s symptoms develop later in life during a person’s mid thirties-forties. There are also instances where the disease becomes on-set in children or during adolescence.

The question that I am writing about is the disease itself ,and which symptoms affect you the worst. The reason I chose to write about this disease is because I have always been interested in diseases like this that have a huge impact on a person’s life. I would like to hopefully one day find a cure for some of these diseases. According to Huntington-Study-Group. org, “about 30,000 people in North America have HD, and another 150,000 are ‘at risk’ for inheriting the illness because they have (or had) a parent with HD. As you can tell by the numbers, this disease is not very common. Still, I would hate to ever be diagnosed with this disease or even find out that someone I know has been diagnosed with it. One of the main symptoms of this disease from the cognitive perspective is that it gives a person “difficulties in mental flexibility so that it may become hard for the person with HD to switch quickly from one mental task to the other. ” This makes it hard for a person to think out even the smallest of tasks. Next, we look at this disease from the movement perspective.

With all of the mess going on with a person’s brain with HD, it is easy to see why someone might have trouble moving around or making easy, simple movements. As I mentioned earlier, Huntington’s disease causes certain parts of a person’s brain to degenerate and waste away. According to Huntington-Study-Group. org, “a person with HD typically develops involuntary movements, which initially just seem like fidgetiness or a nervous restlessness, but usually evolve into movements that are difficult to control. In this case, the certain parts of the brain that are wasting away are the cause for these “jerky” movements. Obviously, if this is causing problems with movement, then there will definitely be some more problems with other parts of the body as well. Some other problems that Huntington’s disease may also cause deals with some psychiatric disorders. According to Huntington-Study-Group. org, “Depression is very common in HD, very treatable, and may precede the onset of other signs and symptoms of the illness.

Severe depression may even lead to suicide attempts in a few individuals. ” It’s very good that the depression disorder is easily treatable because someone with Huntington’s disease does not need something else like depression holding them down from life like all the rest of the symptoms already do. The website also says that “other psychiatric difficulties seen in some people with HD include anxiety, obsessiveness, irritability, impulsiveness, social withdrawal, and trouble initiating activity.

A few individuals with HD may have aggressive outbursts or even psychosis (hallucinations or delusions). ” This disease gets to me pretty bad for some reason. I do not personally know anyone with this disease. Like I said earlier though, I would really like to be able to work with people that do sometime later in my life. It would make me feel really good to be able to help them out in any way that I possibly can.

While surfing through the web to find more information about this topic, I came across The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes. They have a ton of helpful information. I was curious to know what the prognosis is for this disease is, and it said “At this time, there is no way to stop or reverse the course of HD. Now that the HD gene has been located, investigators are continuing to study the HD gene with an eye toward understanding how it causes disease in the human body. This basically means that there is no cure for it just yet, but maybe, hopefully soon, there will be.

Works Cited

“Education – A Huntington Disease Overview. ” Huntington Study Group. Web. February 23, 2012. “NINDS Huntington’s Disease Information Page. ” National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. U. S. Department of Health ; Human Services, Aug. 13, 2010. Web. Feb. 23, 2012. Sheth, Kevin. “Huntington’s disease. ” PubMed Health. A. D. A. M Medical Encyclopedia, April 30, 2011. Web. Feb. 2