What is Huntington’s Disease

Huntington’s disease (HD) is an inherited, neurological disease for which there is presently no known cure or effective treatment. HD causes gradual physical, emotional and cognitive deterioration. Symptoms include involuntary jerking movements of arms and legs; increasing difficulty with communication, swallowing and walking; problems with planning and organization as well as personality changes. From the onset of symptoms, people with HD have a life expectancy of 10 to 25 years.

The disease affects both men and women and usually strikes in the prime of life, between the ages of 30 and 45. However it may appear earlier or later.

Every child of an HD parent has a 50:50 risk of inheriting this genetic disease. There is now a predictive test which enables people who are at risk to learn whether or not they have inherited the HD gene before symptoms appear.

Research into Huntington’s disease has expanded considerably over the past 30 years with many centres around the world working collaboratively to find a treatment or cure for HD.

More information and support is available from the HD Association in your state.