[2013] Jordan Gass: Huntington's Disease

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by VirtualGardner
Last updated 6 years ago

Human Anatomy

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[2013] Jordan Gass: Huntington's Disease

Huntington's disease is an inherited disease that causes the progressive breakdown (degeneration) of nerve cells in the brain. Most people are diagnosed in their 30's or 40's, but diagnosis can occur earlier in life as well. HD is the result of a genetic defect on chromosome 4, which causes part of the DNA called the CAG to repeat itself more than normal. It usually is repeated 10-28 times, but with HD it's repeated 36-120.

With huntington's disease, neurons are being destroyed and not being replaced. Thus, the 'contol center' of the body is being destroyed. This causes the signal from the stimulus to not be processed. Therefore, the body cannot produce a response. This can be seen through the lack of a correct response. This is why people effected by Huntingtons cannot control their body or their minds.

To the right is a geneology chart showing how the HD gene can be passed along. As you can see, any offspring of the 'red' icons have a 50/50 shot of being 'red.' This shows how HD is heriditary, and children of people with HD have a 50% chance of inheriting the disease. HD does not skip generations, and if a child does not have HD, then they are not a carrier for the disease.

Some of the physical symptoms for Huntingtons are:-involuntary jerking or writhing movements (chorea) -Muscle problems, such as rigidity or muscle contracture (dystonia) -Slow or abnormal eye movements

The picture to the right shows how a neuron is recieving electrical impulses. In HD this signal would not be able to be processed.


The brain processes information through detecting stimulus. This signal then gets processed in the control center(the brain). The control center then decides what action to take and sends an effector. The body then monitors this action and learns from the feedback

The pink part of this brain is the basal ganglia, the part of the brain most heavily affected by HD.

Some cognitive symptoms are:-Lack of awareness of one's own behaviors and abilities -Slowness in processing thoughts or ''finding'' words -Difficulty in learning new information

HD affects the basal ganglia of the brain. This is the part of the brain in charge of muscle muscle movements. While it is not the only part of the brain affected, the basal ganglia is most heavily affected.

To see how HuntingtonsDisease affects real people and their families, click the video!

To find out ways to cope with HD, click the brain!



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