Juvenile Huntington Disease

Juvenile Huntington disease is a rare form of Huntington Disease that begins before the age of 20. It occurs in about 10% of Huntington cases. It is a hereditary, degenerative disease that causes a progressive loss of movement control, thinking abilities, and emotions. Average life expectancy is about 10 to 15 years after diagnosis.

Usually, the first signs are declines in school performance. Handwriting and movement become awkward. Walking becomes difficult, with frequent falls.

Intellectual abilities are affected, with a struggle to perform common tasks such as writing, reading, and counting. Attention and concentration decrease and frustration and anxiety follow.

There currently is no cure. Treatment is usually more supportive and related to quality of life. Several medications are used to lessen symptoms, such as anticonvulsant drugs, antipsychotic drugs, antidepressant drugs, and medications for anxiety and severe mood swings.

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