Huntington's disease or chorea is a genetic disorder. It affects the brain and gets worse over time. This can lead to movement coordination problems, loss of memory and thinking skills and behaviour changes. On average, it leads to death about fifteen years after the first appearance of signs of illness. It is found in about five to seven in 100,000 people. The disease is named after George Huntington. He was the first to describe it accurately in 1872. According to Huntington, the disease is characterized by three things:
- It is hereditary
- People who have it are cases for psychiatry ("insanity and suicide")
- It only occurs in adults
Of these, the last one proved to be wrong (there have also been children with the disease)
In 2015, there is still no treatment for the disease itself. There are medicines available to help with some of the symptoms. Tetrabenazine was approved in 2008 by the FDA. This medicine helps slow some of the restless movements of chorea. Other medicines that can help with psychiatric symptoms and movements are benzodiazepines and some drugs usually taken for seizures.
References[change | change source]
- Huntington G (1872). "On Chorea". Medical and Surgical Reporter of Philadelphia (The Hague: Nijhoff) 26 (15): 317–321. . http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/On_Chorea. Retrieved 2009-04-01.
- "FDA approves first drug for treatment of chorea in Huntington's disease". FDA Approves First Drug for Treatment of Chorea in Huntington's Disease. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 15 August 2008. http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/2008/NEW01874.html. Retrieved 10 August 2008.
- "Management: treatment of manifestations". The National Center for Biotechnology Information. 11 December 2014. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK1305/#huntington.Management. Retrieved 4 February 2015.