Home English Sign in or join HDYO Kids Teens Young adults Parents JHD Friends Professionals News About Us Videos Blog JoHD Registry Books HD Research Events Fundraising Ask a Question Creative Expression Local Support Contact Us Links Terms Privacy Language Sitemap Donate Store
Kids Teens Young adults Parents JHD Friends Professionals

I have symptoms, should I test for HD?

March 8, 2014

Huntington's Disease Youth Organization

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


I have symptoms, should I test for HD?

Q. Over the past few years I’ve noticed a substantial decline in my speech and movements. I often struggle to get words out and sentences tend to jumble together and I’ve also developed a bit of a stutter that I’ve never had before. Learning new concepts is proving to be more challenging than ever, and it is effecting my performance at university. I’ve always been a clumsy person but lately it’s been so challenging that I have to shuffle around so that I don’t slip or stumble. I also have uncontrollable hand and feet tremors several times a day. I’ve suffered from depression and anxiety since I was about 11, and it’s been getting worse so I am taking an antidepressant which has been helping, but overall all of these symptoms are making me worry constantly. I don’t know where to draw the line between feeling like a hypochondriac and actually having a disorder/disease. I do not have access to my biological father’s medical history, but I do know that HD does not run on my mom’s side. Would it be foolish of me to want to get a genetic test for HD?

Erica, 21, USA

Ask a question

A. Dear Erica,

Thanks for the email. Sounds like you are having a difficult time of it. Unless there is a clear history of HD in one side of the family or other, then I don’t think an HD test is the priority. It’s difficult to tell from your email what the problem is so I would advise you to discuss this with your local physician, who should be able to put the physical and mental symptoms you have been experiencing into context.

Best wishes

Hugh Rickards