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If my mum has the disease what are the chances of me getting it?

January 6, 2015

Huntington's Disease Youth Organization

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If my mum has the disease what are the chances of me getting it?

Q. If my mum has the disease what are the chances of me getting it?

Also what are some of the symptoms of the disease?


  1. What are the signs of HD
  2. Does HD effect people in different ways
  3. Will there ever be a cure for HD
  4. Is it a well known illness or disease
  5. Do all hospitals admit patients with HD
  6. What do pills do to help

Kieran, Teen, UK

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A. Hi Kieran,

Thanks for the emails.

If your mum has HD, you have a 50:50 chance of developing HD at some time in your life.

1 & 2. There are different signs of HD and different people get symptoms in different ways. Some people mainly show difficulties with co-ordination or jerky movements, others have difficulty in “multi-tasking” or in working out other peoples’ emotions. Other people show difficulties in controlling their own emotions. Sometimes it’s difficult to tell these changes apart from normal variations in how humans behave (lots of people, including people without HD, can have difficulties with multitasking or emotional control).

  1. I don’t know if there will ever be an absolute cure for HD, but I think that successful treatments which delay the start of the illness for a long time are very likely. We are just starting to test the first of these types of treatments in humans now. I’m really positive about the development of successful treatments for HD.

  2. HD is pretty well known. It’s now on the GCSE Biology syllabus so children in most UK schools are learning about it, if they take biology.

  3. Most general hospitals will admit people with HD or have someone with some knowledge of HD. There are about 30 HD specialists in the UK

  4. Pills at the moment can help some of the symptoms (the main things that pills can help are jerky movements, low mood, anxiety and “mood swings”).

I hope I’ve answered all of your questions.

Best wishes

Hugh Rickards