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 medicines may help control the involuntary movements.
Current as of: October 13, 2016
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Siobhan M. Dolan, MD, MPH - Reproductive Genetics
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2017 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Donations to UW Health are managed by the University of Wisconsin Foundation, a publicly supported charitable organization under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.