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Huntington’s disease is a devastating, degenerative, inherited brain disorder for which there is no effective treatment or cure. Early symptoms of Huntington's disease may affect cognitive ability or mobility and include depression, mood swings, forgetfulness, clumsiness, involuntary twitching and lack of coordination. As the disease progresses, concentration and short-term memory diminish and involuntary movements of the head, trunk and limbs increase. Walking, speaking and swallowing abilities deteriorate until the affected individual is unable to care for him or herself. Death follows from complications such as choking, infection or heart failure.

Huntington’s disease affects males and females equally and crosses all ethnic and racial boundaries. The disease typically begins in mid-life, between the ages of 30 and 45, although onset may occur as early as the age of 2. The specific symptoms and physical features associated with Huntington's disease result from degeneration of nerve cells (neurons) within certain areas of the brain. Children who develop the juvenile form of the disease rarely live to adulthood. Each child born to a person with Huntington’s disease has a 50-50 chance of inheriting the fatal gene. Everyone who carries the gene will develop the disease.

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