Huntington's disease

Facts About Other Dementias

Not everyone who shows signs of dementia has Alzheimer’s disease. Dementia is an umbrella term that covers many separate diseases. It is a general term for loss of memory and other mental abilities severe enough to interfere with daily life. Therefore, dementia is not a disease; it is a syndrome, or group of symptoms, associated with many separate underlying diseases. There are over 20 different types of dementing diseases but the most common is Alzheimer’s, accounting for 60-80 percent of the cases. Individuals may have more than one type of dementia.

Huntington’s disease

is an inherited disease that causes the progressive breakdown (degeneration) of nerve cells in the brain. Huntington’s disease has a broad impact on a person’s functional abilities and usually results in movement, thinking (cognitive) and psychiatric disorders. Most people with Huntington’s disease develop signs and symptoms in their 40s or 50s, but the onset of disease may be earlier or later in life. When disease onset begins before age 20, the condition is called juvenile Huntington’s disease. Earlier onset often results in a somewhat different presentation of symptoms and faster disease progression. Medications are available to help manage the symptoms of Huntington’s disease, but treatments can’t prevent the physical, mental and behavioral decline associated with the condition.

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