Huntington’s Disease

Classification- This disease affects the musculoskeletal system due to loss of brain cells that control the initiation, coordination and fluidity of movement. This disease also affects the digestive system due to the loss of muscle control affects chewing and swallowing. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association notes that people with Huntington’s disease typically have difficulty holding food and liquids in the mouth, initiating swallowing and clearing food from the mouth. Loss of muscle control usually leads to an inability to control the passage of stool.

Finally, Huntington’s affects the respiratory system. The disordered swallowing associated with Huntington’s disease commonly interferes with the coordinated closure of the airway, causing frequent episodes of choking and contamination of the airway with ingested food and liquids. The Huntington’s Outreach Project for Education at Stanford University reports that pneumonia is the leading cause of death among people with Huntington’s. Signs and Symptoms- Behavior changes may occur before movement problems, and can include: behavioral disturbances, hallucinations, irritability, and moodiness.

Abnormal and unusual movements include: slow, uncontrolled movements, and facial movements. Dementia that slowly gets worse, including: personality changes, speech changes, and confusion. Diagnosis- Either fluid from around the fetus, or chorionic villus sampling (CVS—a sample of fetal cells), will indicate whether the baby has inherited the gene for Huntington‘s. Etiology- Nerve cells become damaged, causing various parts of the brain to deteriorate. The faulty gene that causes Huntington’s disease is found on chromosome number 4.

A normal copy of the gene produces huntingtin, a protein. The faulty gene is larger than it should be and produces a larger form of huntingtin. Pathology- HD causes irregular and involuntary movements of the muscles and progressive loss of cognitive ability. The disease progresses without remission over 10-20 years. Prognosis- Risks include: choking, physical injury from falls, and/or malnutrition. Death for most people with this disease is usually a result of: infection, pneumonia, or heart failure.

Prophylaxis- Although there’s no way to prevent this disease from happening, you should always check with your genetic counselor. Couples will need to make the choices of whether to have children or to consider alternatives, such as prenatal testing for the gene or in vitro fertilization with donor sperm or eggs. Treatment- HD is palliative. Treatment includes: diet and supplements, exercise, and spiritual and psychosocial support Special Features- Physical therapists may assess fall risk and prevention, as well as strengthening, stretching, and cardiovascular exercises.

Goals of physical therapy may include: improving independence and quality of life by improving movement and function, learning new strategies to cope with the changes that occur in HD to promote safety, preventing secondary problems, and helping make adaptations so the person can function for as long and as comfortably as possible. Conclusion- In conclusion, Huntington’s is an inherited brain disorder that is incurable. This disease affects many people and causes loss of muscle control. I’ve learned that caring for someone with Huntington’s disease can be very challenging.

Although current treatments can only help the symptoms, it is hoped that further research and new techniques will bring about an effective cure. Citations .”What Are The Organ Systems Affected?. ” Live Strong. N. p. , 10 Jul 2010. Web. 24 Jan 2013. <http://www. livestrong. com/article/188900-what-are-the-organ-systems-affected-by-huntingtons-disease/>. Clinic, Mayo. “Huntington’s Disease. ” Mayo Clinic . N. p. , 05 May 2011. Web. 24 Jan 2013. <http://www. mayoclinic. com/health/huntingtons-disease/DS00401>. . “Huntington’s disease. ” PubMed Health . A. D. A. M. Medical Encyclopedia, 30 Apr 2011.

Web. 24 Jan 2013. <http://www. ncbi. nlm. nih. gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001775 . “What Is Huntington’s Disease? What Causes Huntington’s Disease?. ” Medical News Today. N. p. , 02 Aug 2009. Web. 28 Jan 2013. <http://www. medicalnewstoday. com/articles/159552. php>. . “Huntington’s Disease Prognosis. ” News Medical. N. p.. Web. 31 Jan 2013. <http://www. news-medical. net/health/Huntingtons-Disease-Prognosis. asp&xgt;. Kennard, Christine. “Huntington’s Disease. ” About. N. p. , 05 Mar 2006. Web. 31 Jan 2013. <http://alzheimers. about. com/od/typesofdementia/a/huntington_dise. htm>.

In 1993 researchers discovered the gene that causes Huntington’s disease. (Huntington’s disease Society of America, 8/27) Huntington’s disease is a disease which progressively degenerates cells in the brain slowly over time. Since the nerve cells in the brain are slowly …

Huntington’s disease is an inherited degenerative neurological disease that leads to dementia. It is a disorder of the basal ganglia causing progressive motor incoordination, abnormal involuntary movements (chorea), and intellectual decline. Clinical features and Symptoms: Huntington’s disease usually causes movement, …

In one to three percent of Huntingtons Disease patients, have no family history of HD (HuntingtonsDisease1). Huntington’s disease is a very inconvenient and frustrating disease, scientists are trying to create treatments and a cure for Huntington’s disease. The one problem …

In 1993 researchers discovered the gene that causes Huntington’s disease. (Huntington’s disease Society of America, 8/27) Huntington’s disease is a disease which progressively degenerates cells in the brain slowly over time. Since the nerve cells in the brain are slowly …

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