Huntington’s disease (HD) is a genetic neurodegenerative disease that results in brain cell death. As the brain cells die, people with HD can experience:
- Involuntary movements,
- Impaired physical coordination and balance
- Loss of mental flexibility
- Difficulty with thinking skills and processes
- Attention and memory difficulties
- Difficulties with swallowing
- Impaired verbal communication
- Problems in planning, organising and executing task
- Mood disorders such as depression and anxiety
- Personality changes
HD symptomology as it progresses can be unpredictable and as such a person can present with a combination of any of the above outlined symptoms. Following the onset of symptoms the average life expectancy is 15-25 years.
In Victoria, it is estimated that there are currently more than 400 families who have a member affected by HD. It is further estimated that over 2,500 people, including children are at risk of inheriting the disease and more than 3,000 people are affected - this includes carers, family members and their support networks.
Find out more about HD