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Huntington's Disease Youth Organization

How aware are people on sedatives?

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

www.hdyo.org

Q. Good morning, I actually have few questions… My mum is 65-year-old and was just diagnosed with HD… Quite late… Mum is still able to walk and take care of herself. She takes some medicines. Does a person taking some sedatives/tranquilizers haloperidol understand they are suffering from HD? Are they aware of what is happening/going on around them?

Is it true that there is a higher chance of inheriting this disease from father?

When there are two kids in the same family and one is not suffering from Huntington’s - is it possible that another kid would be unaffected as well?

Kinga, Young Adult, Poland

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A. Hi Kinga

Thank you for your questions, we had a neurologist answer the 1st one, and we’ve answered the others for you. Here’s the first answer:

Dear Kinga,

Thanks for your email. It’s a really difficult question to answer as it really depends on the person. If sedatives or tranquilisers are taken at really high doses then they might prevent someone from understanding things but that would be something rare. If your mum is able to walk and take care of herself, I don’t think that medication would prevent her from understanding that she has HD.

Also, if she can walk and take care of herself, I think she is likely to be aware of what is happening around her. However, sometimes people with HD (even when taking no medicine) might not fully understand the illness and how things are likely to change as time goes on.

With best wishes

Hugh

And now to answer your other two questions, it is not true that there is a higher inheritance from the father, but HD can begin earlier if from the father (this is not always the case though, far from it). As for siblings and risk, they each have their own 50% risk, so yes, there is a chance both could not have HD, and there is just as much chance they both could.

Hope this helps

Matt