Huntington's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that occurs due to a mutation in the HTT or huntingtin gene. It is generally inherited, but a new mutation causes ten percent of cases. Every person is born with two copies of each gene, one from the mother and one from the father. To develop the disease, an individual needs only one mutated copy of the huntingtin gene. This means that each child of someone who develops Huntington's has a 50% chance of developing it as well. Currently, Huntington's disease has no treatment, though medication can manage symptoms.
Huntington's disease leads to involuntary movements called "chorea," which also impairs voluntary movement. This disease is the most common inherited cause of the symptom. Chorea describes semi-purposeful, dance-like, erratic movements and is one of the earliest symptoms of the disease. It manifests initially as uncontrollable facial twitches, jerky limb movements, clumsiness, loss of coordination and balance, and abnormal eye movements. Later, the muscles become more rigid, and the individual starts to experience abnormal posture and writhing movements. Chorea is less common in the advanced stages as the muscles become more rigid and movement becomes more difficult.
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