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What are some early symptoms of Huntington's disease?

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Quick Answer

Early symptoms of Huntington's disease include uncontrolled movement of the upper extremities of the body, such as the arms, legs, head and face, according to the Alzheimer's Association. Symptoms also include deterioration in reasoning ability, memory, concentration and judgment.

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Full Answer

Huntington's disease is a neurodegenerative condition that progressively causes involuntary muscle movements and cognitive deterioration, such as confusion, memory loss and agitation, notes WebMD. Although it can affect people of any age, it tends to afflict people between the ages of 30 and 50, but it can afflict people as young as age 2 or as old as 80, explains the Alzheimer's Association.

Huntington's disease is a autosomal dominant disorder involving an inherited mutated gene, explains Mayo Clinic. Only one copy of the defective gene can cause it, and because it is genetic, there is a 50 percent chance that a parent with a defective Huntington gene could pass it on to his child.

As of 2015, there is no cure for the disease, and no treatment exists that affects its progression, notes Mayo Clinic. Medications are used to treat some of the movement and psychiatric disorders, including tetrabenazine and antipsychotic drugs that help suppress involuntary movements and writhing. Other treatment options include psychotherapy, speech therapy, physical therapy and occupational therapy.

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