Glossary of Medical Terms

Huntington's disease

Huntington's disease is a rare inherited (genetic) disorder that causes parts of the brain to break down and lose some normal functions (degeneration). It is also called Huntington's chorea.

Symptoms of the disease usually develop after age 40 and include rapid, jerky movements (twitches in the face and jerks of the arms) that cannot be controlled (chorea) and the gradual loss of mental abilities (dementia), leading to personality changes, behavior problems, and memory loss.

There is no known cure for the disease. Treatment with medications may help control the involuntary movements. 

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