By Leigh Barr
The DNA that we inherit from our mothers and fathers provides a blueprint for our physical traits. Our health can also be impacted by our heredity.
Huntington’s Disease (HD) is a rare, progressive brain disease that is passed down from parent to child. If a parent has the gene for Huntington’s Disease, there is a 50/50 chance that a child will have the disease.
According to the Huntington Disease Society of America, there are approximately 41,000 symptomatic people living with Huntington’s Disease in the United States and another 200,000 at risk of for inheriting it.
HD can be described as having Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and ALS simultaneously.
The disease progresses over time and symptoms generally appear in midlife—between the ages of 30 and 50. The disease impacts a person physically and mentally. Physical symptoms can first appear as clumsiness, loss of balance, or involuntary movements known as chorea (kuh-ree-uh). Symptoms progressively worsen over time. There is no cure.