Thank you for taking a look at this page. May of you already know, and some have yet to learn about how Huntington's Disease affects my life. During my birth, my mother displayed some abnormal movements that soon were determined to be Huntington’s Disease. Because she was adopted at birth, nobody in our family was aware she was even at risk for this horrible disease. While growing up, my dad and I took care of her full time until eventually we could not safely leave her side. At that point we made a decision to put her in a nursing home. She is currently living at Ingleside Nursing Home in Mt. Horeb, where they take wonderful care of her. After 16 years of life at Ingleside my dad and I still visit and have our own “family night” at least once a week.
Being a genetic disorder, I have a 50% chance of also getting Huntington's Disease. I have made the decision to not take the test and am living my life to the fullest at risk
Huntington's Disease (HD) is a devastating, degenerative brain disorder for which there is, at present, no effective treatment or cure. HD slowly diminishes the affected individual's ability to walk, think, talk and reason. Eventually, the person with HD becomes totally dependent upon others for his or her care. Huntington's Disease profoundly affects the lives of entire families: emotionally, socially and economically.
Named for Dr. George Huntington, who first described this hereditary disorder in 1872, HD is now recognized as one of the more common genetic disorders. More than a quarter of a million Americans have HD or are "at risk" of inheriting the disease from an affected parent. HD affects as many people as Hemophilia, Cystic Fibrosis or muscular dystrophy.
Early symptoms of Huntington’s Disease may affect cognitive ability or mobility and include depression, mood swings, forgetfulness, clumsiness, involuntary twitching and lack of coordination. As the disease progresses, concentration and short-term memory diminish and involuntary movements of the head, trunk and limbs increase. Walking, speaking and swallowing abilities deteriorate. Eventually the person is unable to care for him or herself. Death follows from complications such as choking, infection or heart failure.