Understanding Huntington’s disease

Huntington’s disease is a neurological condition caused by the inheritance of an altered gene. The death of brain cells in certain areas of the brain results in a gradual loss of cognitive physical and emotional function. Huntington's disease is a complex and severely debilitating disease, for which there is no cure. 

The most common symptom is jerky movements of the arms and legs, known as ‘chorea’. Chorea usually starts as mild twitching and gradually increases over the years. A person with Huntington's disease may also have difficulties with speech, swallowing and concentration. 

Facts about Huntington’s disease 

  • Huntington's disease is found in every country in the world. 

  • Men and women are at equal risk of inheriting the disease. 

  • The child of an affected parent has a 50 per cent chance of inheriting the gene and developing the manifestations of Huntington’s disease. 

  • In Australia over 1,800 people have HD and approximately 9,000 are at risk. 

Symptoms of Huntington’s disease

  • Mild twitching of the fingers and toes 

  • Lack of coordination and a tendency to knock things over 

  • Walking difficulties 

  • Dance-like or jerky movements of the arms or legs (chorea) 

  • Speech and swallowing difficulties. 

  • Short-term memory loss 

  • Difficulties in concentrating and making plans. 

  • Depression (around one third of people with Huntington's disease experience depression) 

  • Mood swings, apathy and aggression 

How can CPL help?

No matter where you are on your journey, we are ready to help you achieve your goals. Our services aim to support people to reach their full potential through:  

For more information about how we can support you with Huntington's disease, visit our services page, call us on 1800 961 870 or send an online enquiry

References:
https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/huntingtons-disease  
https://www.huntingtonsnsw.org.au/information/hd-facts/how-common