Numerous questions about Huntington's Disease
April 24, 2012 1:48 PM Subscribe
Multiple questions about Huntington's Disease... I'm researching a story that has a pregnant woman with Huntington's Disease. I've watched a bunch of videos on Youtube and read various sites but have not found answers to specific questions I have.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy to health & fitness (12 answers total)
1. Wikipedia: "The most characteristic initial physical symptoms are jerky, random, and uncontrollable movements...These minor motor abnormalities usually precede more obvious signs of motor dysfunction by at least three years." Can these early symptoms be inconsistent? For instance, is it possible a person who has trouble walking one day can be fine the next or once a symptom reveals itself for the first time, is it permanent and escalating?
Specifically, is it possible that someone who experiences a "minor motor abnormality" today could appear "normal" to an outside observer tomorrow.
2. My question regarding this is probably ridiculous but I'm not in the USA (though my protagonist is), so I'm gonna ask it anyway. Wikipedia says, "Prenatal testing is performed on the understanding that if the fetus is found to carry an expanded HTT gene (or, in exclusion testing, found to be at 'high risk'), the pregnancy will be terminated." I'm not sure I understand this. Certainly a positive result does not insist upon abortion, does it? It is the woman's choice regardless of the test results, yes?
3. "Seizures are also a common symptom of [juvenile] HD." What about non-juvenile HD? Can seizures happen then as well? Can a seizure be an early or even first symptom or someone who is not a juvenile? (My character is 25).
4. Is, or can, stress be a factor in the appearance of symptoms, the way it can be for someone, for instance, who stammers?
5. Is there an anecdote about the illness that you wish to share that is outside of the scope of my questions? Memails welcome if you don't want to share on the green.