Dr Jon Roberts in a genetic counselling session with a young adult, female patient, discussing the result of her screening for Huntington's disease
Genetic counselling session

Case study 2: Predictive Testing, Huntington's Disease

Introduction to Huntington’s disease

Huntington’s disease (HD) is a degenerative neurological condition for which there is some treatment but no cure. HD leads to problems with behaviours and mood. Behavioural symptoms include depression, mood swings, violent outbursts, and problems with reasoning. Movement symptoms can begin with some twitching and can gradually progress with many people having constant muscle movement, needing help, in the later stages of the disease, with many basic day to day tasks including eating.

Once symptoms appear people live a further 14 years on average. This condition is inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern, this means the children of an affected person have a 50% chance of inheriting the gene alteration and being affected with HD.

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