HD is caused by a certain gene that does not work properly. All people who inherit this gene may get HD.
Problems often start between 30 to 50 years of age. They are mild at first and then get worse.
A person may have:
- Changes in eye movements
- Moving without control
- Jerking movements of the arms, legs, face, or belly
- Problems making decisions
- Lack of emotion
- Mood swings
- Problems walking and swallowing
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. You will be asked whether you have other people in your family with HD. A physical exam will be done. Cognitive tests may also be done.
Blood tests will be done to look for the gene that causes HD.
Images may be taken to support the diagnosis. This can be done with:
- MRI scan
- CT scan
- Single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) scan
|MRI Scan of the Brain|
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There is no cure for HD. Symptoms can only be managed.
Medicine may be given to ease body movements. These may be:
HD can be very difficult for a person and their care provider. Counseling and support groups can help a person learn how to cope with HD.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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