Diseases & Conditions


Huntington's Disease

Synonyms of Huntington's Disease
  • Chronic Progressive Chorea
  • Degenerative Chorea
  • HD
  • Hereditary Chorea
  • Hereditary Chronic Progressive Chorea
  • Huntington's Chorea
  • Very Early Onset Huntington's Disease
  • Woody Guthrie's Disease

Disorder Subdivisions

    General Discussion
    Huntington's disease is a genetic, progressive, neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the gradual development of involuntary muscle movements affecting the hands, feet, face, and trunk and progressive deterioration of cognitive processes and memory (dementia). Neurologic movement abnormalities may include uncontrolled, irregular, rapid, jerky movements (chorea) and athetosis, a condition characterized by relatively slow, writhing involuntary movements. Dementia is typically associated with progressive disorientation and confusion, personality disintegration, impairment of memory control, restlessness, agitation, and other symptoms and findings. In individuals with the disorder, disease duration may range from approximately 10 years up to 25 years or more. Life-threatening complications may result from pneumonia or other infections, injuries related to falls, or other associated developments.

    Huntington's disease is transmitted as an autosomal dominant trait. The disease results from changes (mutations) of a gene known as huntingtin located on the short arm (p) of chromosome 4 (4p16.3). In those with the disorder, the huntingtin gene contains errors in the coded building blocks (nucleotide bases) that make up the gene's instructions. The gene contains abnormally long repeats of coded instructions consisting of the basic chemicals cytosine, adenine, and guanine (CAG trinucleotide repeat expansion). The length of the expanded repeats may affect the age at symptom onset. The specific symptoms and physical features associated with Huntington's disease result from degeneration of nerve cells (neurons) within certain areas of the brain (e.g., basal ganglia, cerebral cortex).

    Organizations related to Huntington's Disease
    • Advocacy for Neuroacanthocytosis Patients
      32 Launceston Place
      London None W8 5RN
      Phone #: +44- (0-)20 7937-2938
      800 #: N/A
      e-mail: [email protected]
      Home page: http://www.naadvocacy.org
    • Alzheimer's Foundation of America
      322 8th Ave
      New York NY 10001
      Phone #: 866-232-8484
      800 #: 866-232-8484
      e-mail: [email protected]
      Home page: http://www.alzfdn.org
    • Hereditary Disease Foundation
      3960 Broadway
      New York NY 10032
      Phone #: 212-928-2121
      800 #: --
      e-mail: [email protected]
      Home page: http://www.hdfoundation.org
    • Huntington Society of Canada
      151 Frederick St, Suite 400
      Ontario Intl N2H 2M2
      Phone #: 519-749-7063
      800 #: 800-998-7398
      e-mail: [email protected]
      Home page: http://www.huntington
    • Huntington's Disease Society of America
      505 Eighth Avenue
      New York NY 10018
      Phone #: 212-242-1968
      800 #: 800-345-4372
      e-mail: [email protected]
      Home page: http://www.hdsa.org
    • MUMS (Mothers United for Moral Support, Inc) National Parent-to-Parent Network
      150 Custer Court
      Green Bay WI 54301-1243
      Phone #: 920-336-5333
      800 #: 877-336-5333
      e-mail: [email protected]
      Home page: http://www.netnet.net/mums/
    • Madisons Foundation
      PO Box 241956
      Los Angeles CA 90024
      Phone #: 310-264-0826
      800 #: N/A
      e-mail: [email protected]
      Home page: http://www.madisonsfoundation.org
    • March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation
      1275 Mamaroneck Avenue
      White Plains NY 10605
      Phone #: 914-428-7100
      800 #: 888-663-4637
      e-mail: [email protected]
      Home page: http://www.marchofdimes.com
    • National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
      31 Center Drive
      Bethesda MD 20892-2540
      Phone #: 301-496-5751
      800 #: 800-352-9424
      e-mail: [email protected]
      Home page: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/
    • New Horizons Un-Limited, Inc.
      811 East Wisconsin Ave
      Milwaukee WI 53202
      Phone #: 414-299-0124
      800 #: N/A
      e-mail: [email protected]
      Home page: http://www.new-horizons.org
    • Sj?ldne Diagnoser / Rare Disorders Denmark
      Frederiksholms Kanal 2, 3rd Floor
      Copenhagen K None 1220
      Phone #: 45 -33 -14 00 10
      800 #: N/A
      e-mail: [email protected]
      Home page: http://www.raredisorders.dk
    • UCSF Memory and Aging Center
      350 Parnassus Avenue
      San Francisco CA 94117
      Phone #: 415-476-6800
      800 #: N/A
      e-mail: N/A
      Home page: http://memory.ucsf.edu
    • WE MOVE (Worldwide Education and Awareness for Movement Disorders)
      204 West 84th Street
      New York NY 10024
      Phone #: 212-875-8312
      800 #: N/A
      e-mail: [email protected]
      Home page: http://www.wemove.org

    For a Complete Report

    This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc. ? (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be obtained for a small fee by visiting the NORD website. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational treatments (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, see http://www.rarediseases.org/search/rdblist.html