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Can you tell if you Huntington’s disease?

July 24, 2016

Huntington's Disease Youth Organization

HDYO has more information about HD available for young people, parents and professionals on our site:

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Can you tell if you Huntington’s disease?

Q. Can you tell if you Huntington’s disease?

Kirsten, Teen

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A. Hi Kirsten,

Thank you for reaching out to HDYO with your question. My name is Chandler and I work with young people and family across the US.

To answer your question - there are a few ways to tell if someone has HD, but the first thing to know is that HD is genetic. Are you asking about your own family? If so, for anyone to get HD there would need to be some history of it in the family. Has anyone in your family tested positive for it?

If there is a family history, the easiest way to know if someone will get HD is to get a genetic test. This is done by getting some blood taken and having a lab test it, but you must be 18 to do so. If someone hasn’t had a blood test, doctors who are familiar with HD may be able to diagnose someone based on their symptoms and knowing that there is a family history.

The early symptoms of HD are different for every individual so it is hard to know what symptoms someone will get first. This article describes the different types of symptoms someone with HD could experience.
I hope all this information helps. If your family does have a history of HD and you are worried that someone has symptoms I can help find a doctor in your area to help. I’m also here to answer questions and provide any additional support.

Take care

Chandler