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What is the physical test for HD?

September 5, 2014

Huntington's Disease Youth Organization

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What is the physical test for HD?

I would like to know how is made the physical test that is done in the clinic to know if you have HD?

Patricia, young adult, Brazil

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A. Dear Patricia,

Thanks for your email. To make a diagnosis of HD, a specialist would need three things. Firstly, the specialist would need to take the story of the illness, including any symptoms and any family members who might also be affected with a similar illness. Secondly, the specialist may want to examine your physical and mental state. This might include looking at any movements, looking for changes in muscle tone, eye movements, mood and memory. Finally, the specialist may want to do some investigations. These are usually blood tests (there is one test to check the HD gene but there may be other tests to rule out illnesses which look like HD), but might also include a brain scan.

Of all of these things, the blood test to see if you are carrying the HD gene is the most accurate.

I hope this is the answer to your question.

Best wishes

Hugh Rickards