Huntington’s disease is an inherited and progressive neurodegenerative disorder affecting the central nervous system. The disease is characterized by the loss of function and death of brain cells over time. The disease usually begins in middle age and leads to impairments in movement control, cognitive abilities, and psychiatric health. In this article we have written for you, we will try to answer all the questions about Huntington’s Disease.
- What is Huntington’s Disease?
- What are the Symptoms of Huntington’s Disease?
- What Causes Huntington’s Disease?
- What are the Types of Huntington’s Disease?
- Symptoms of Cognitive Impairment in Huntington’s Disease
- Psychiatric Symptoms in Huntington’s Disease
- Genetic Testing in Huntington’s Disease
- How is Huntington’s Disease Diagnosed?
- How is Huntington’s Disease Treatment?
- Huntington’s Disease Treatment in Turkey
What is Huntington’s Disease?
Huntington’s disease is an inherited neurodegenerative disease that usually starts between the ages of 30-50. This disease, which occurs as a result of continuous damage and loss of function of some cells in the brain, causes serious impairments in movement, thinking, and emotional functions.
As the disease progresses, it becomes difficult for patients to maintain their daily activities and need constant care. Although there is currently no definitive treatment for the disease, treatment methods are applied to alleviate the symptoms.
What are the Symptoms of Huntington’s Disease?
The symptoms of Huntington’s disease vary depending on the rate of progression of the disease and from person to person. In general, they can be divided into three main categories:
- Symptoms related to movement,
- Cognitive symptoms,
- Psychiatric symptoms,
What Causes Huntington’s Disease?
Huntington’s disease is caused by a mutation of a gene called HTT. This mutation causes brain cells to lose their function and die. The disease is usually passed from affected parent to child and follows an autosomal dominant inheritance pattern. This means that there is a 50% chance of passing the disease gene from an affected parent to a child. If a person receives the normal gene from an affected parent, they will not develop the disease and will not pass it on to future generations.
What are the Types of Huntington’s Disease?
Huntington’s disease is a genetic and neurodegenerative disease characterized by the slow loss of function in some parts of the brain. This disease usually manifests itself with symptoms between the ages of 30-50 and progresses over time. Huntington’s disease types can be classified according to the age of onset, severity of symptoms, and clinical features of the symptoms.
Adult Onset Huntington’s Disease: This variant is the most common and affects approximately 95 percent of patients. Symptoms usually begin between the ages of 30-50 and as the disease progresses, movement, cognitive and psychiatric problems occur.
Juvenile (Childhood) Onset Huntington’s Disease: This type is rarer and affects about 5 percent of patients. Symptoms usually begin before age 20 and the disease progresses more rapidly. In this form, movement disorders may be more pronounced and neurological problems such as epilepsy may occur.
Late Onset Huntington’s Disease: This variety is characterized by symptoms occurring after the age of 60 and is less common. The progression of the disease may be slower and symptoms may be milder.
Symptoms of Cognitive Impairment in Huntington’s Disease
In Huntington’s disease, cognitive impairments usually occur together with movement and psychiatric symptoms. Symptoms of cognitive impairment can be explained as follows;
- Attention and Concentration Problems may occur. Patients may have difficulty maintaining attention and switching between multiple tasks.
- Slow Thinking and Decision Making problems may occur. Patients may experience slowing down in their thinking processes and their decision-making abilities may decrease.
- Learning and Memory Problems may occur. The ability to learn and remember new information may decrease.
- Planning and Problem-Solving Difficulties may occur. Patients may have difficulty planning for the future and solving complex problems.
- Language and Speech Disorders may occur. Language skills and speech intelligibility may decrease.
Psychiatric Symptoms in Huntington’s Disease
In Huntington’s disease, psychiatric symptoms can occur in the early stages of the disease and can significantly affect the quality of life of patients. Psychiatric symptoms can be described as follows;
- Mood Fluctuations,
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder,
Genetic Testing in Huntington’s Disease
Huntington’s disease is a genetic neurodegenerative disorder and can be passed down in families from generation to generation. The gene that causes Huntington’s disease is called the HTT gene and abnormal elongation of this gene causes the disease. This causes the symptoms of the disease to appear and worsen over time. Genetic testing plays an important role in the diagnosis of Huntington’s disease.
Genetic testing is used to detect the presence of the disease-causing gene and the abnormal length of the gene. This test can be performed before the symptoms of the disease appear and in people with a family history of Huntington’s disease. Genetic testing is carried out on DNA samples and blood samples are usually used.
Genetic testing for Huntington’s disease provides information to people at risk about whether the disease is likely to occur in the future. This information can help patients and their families make informed decisions about lifestyle changes and treatment options for the disease. However, the results of genetic testing can also have emotional and psychological effects, so pre- and post-test counseling is important.
How is Huntington’s Disease Diagnosed?
The diagnosis of Huntington’s disease is based on the patient’s clinical symptoms, family history and genetic test results. The symptoms of the disease are divided into three main categories: movement disorders, cognitive decline and psychiatric problems. Movement disorders include symptoms such as involuntary movements, loss of muscle coordination and gait disturbances. The cognitive decline includes symptoms such as difficulty concentrating, learning and planning problems. Psychiatric problems are manifested by symptoms such as depression, anxiety and personality changes.
In the early stages of the disease, symptoms may be milder and diagnosis may be difficult. Therefore, doctors try to make an accurate diagnosis by taking into account patients’ family history and excluding other possible causes. Genetic tests are used to detect the presence of the disease-causing gene and the abnormal length of the gene. These tests are an important tool for the definitive diagnosis of the disease.
How is Huntington’s Disease Treatment?
There is currently no definitive treatment for Huntington’s disease. Treatment focuses on managing the symptoms of the disease and improving the quality of life of patients. Treatment varies depending on the stage of the disease, the severity of symptoms and the needs of the patient.
Medication can be used to manage movement disorders. The type and dose of medication are determined by the patient’s symptoms and needs. In addition, physical therapy can help improve patients’ muscle coordination and balance skills.
For cognitive decline and psychiatric problems, medications, cognitive therapy and psychological counseling can be used. These treatments can help improve patients’ thinking and problem-solving skills and help them cope with emotional difficulties.
Research to slow the progression of the disease is ongoing. New treatments are being developed in areas such as gene therapy and stem cell therapy. More research is needed to learn more about the effectiveness and safety of these treatments.
In conclusion, Huntington’s disease is a complex neurodegenerative disorder that can be diagnosed by genetic testing and clinical signs. Treatment focuses on improving patients’ quality of life and managing symptoms. Studies are ongoing on new treatment methods to slow or stop the progression of the disease.
Huntington’s Disease Treatment in Turkey
Turkey has managed to announce its name to the world with its investments and studies in the field of health. Especially the latest technological devices used in diagnosis and treatment procedures have been a beacon of hope for many diseases. However, there has been an increase in health tourism in Türkiye.
- Hospitals are large, clean, spacious and fully equipped in terms of technological equipment.
- Turkish doctors are specialized, successful, and skilled in their fields.
- Nurses and carers are friendly and compassionate.
- Finding answers to the questions asked quickly and accurately.
- Patience and understanding of all staff, including the intermediary company dealing with the patient.
- Turkey offers holiday opportunities with its natural and historical beauties.
- Easy transportation.
- Diagnosis, treatment, accommodation, eating, drinking, dressing, and holiday needs can be met at affordable prices.
Such situations are shown among the reasons for preference. We can see that patients and relatives of patients who want to come to Turkey are doing research on Huntington’s Disease Treatment in Turkey. However, it would not be right to give clear price information at this stage. Many factors such as the type of disease, stage, diagnosis process, treatment process, and stay in Türkiye affect the price issue. If you want to get more detailed price information, you can contact us. In addition, if you come to Turkey for treatment through us, we can facilitate your visa application process with the invitation letter sent by us to the consulate.
Prof.Dr. Ergün Dağlıoğlu (Eğitim Görevlisi), Beyin Cerrahı, Beyin Ve Sinir Cerrahisi