HUNTINGTON’S DISEASE (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Sci and Tech)

News-CRUX-10     12th June 2024        

Context: A team of scientists in the UK recently developed non-invasive measurement techniques and novel analysis methods to decode disease progression and evaluate the effect of potential treatments or lifestyle changes in people with Huntington's disease.

Huntington’s Disease

  • About: It is an inherited disorder leading to the gradual degeneration and death of neurons in specific brain regions.
  • Types of Huntington’s Disease:
  • Adult-Onset HD: The most prevalent form, typically manifesting symptoms in one's mid-30s or 40s.
  • Early-Onset HD: Affecting a minority, it initiates in childhood or adolescence.
  • Caused by: A mutation in the gene for a protein called huntingtin.
  • Symptoms:

oHD manifests varied movement, cognitive, and psychiatric symptoms.

oPatients experience mood swings, reasoning difficulties, involuntary movements, and challenges in speech, swallowing, and mobility.

  • Treatment: Currently, there's no cure for HD, nor any means to halt its progression.

oTreatment aims to alleviate symptoms and prolong functional abilities.

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