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Huntington Disease Essay

683 words - 3 pages

Huntington Disease (HD) is a degenerative brain disorder that is inherited. One of the earlier names for Huntington Disease was choreography, the Greek word for dance. The word chorea describes how people with this disorder would twist, turn constantly and their uncontrollable dance-like motions. A lot of other names have been known in the past for Huntington Disease also. In 1872 George Huntington, an American physician wrote about this disease saying, "an heirloom from generations away back in the dim past." Later Huntington Disease was named after George Huntington.

The signs of HD are usually very gradual. They can go unnoticed for years. The symptoms vary according to the ...view middle of the document...

Since it is not on one of the sex chromosomes, it can affect both males and females. Males and females have the same chance of having affected children. Each child with a defected parent has a 50% chance of having Hunting disease. However, with increasing age and no symptoms the likelihood of getting the disease decreases to less than 50%. The gene for Huntington Disease is found on the fourth chromosome. Part of the sequence of nucleotides is CAG (cytosine, adenine, and guanine); normally the sequence is duplicated up to 26 times in an individual. In HD trinucleotide repeat occurs which is when the sequence CAG is repeated over and over again. People with Huntington Disease may have the sequence repeated anywhere from 40 to over 100 times.

The effects of HD on humans can include things like the individual experiences mood swings or becomes uncharacteristically irritable, apathetic, passive, depressed, or angry. HD can affect the individual's judgment, memory, and other cognitive functions. Early signs could be having trouble driving, having a hard...

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