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Huntington's Disease Youth Organization

HD passes from father to daughters in my family?

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

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Q. Hi, I have a question about HD transmission, my grandmother has the disease. In our family, my grandmother’s father had the disease and he had 1 son and 5 daughters, the man didn’t got the disease, but the 5 daughters had, this means that the disease passes from the father to the children that are women and from the mother to the children that are men?

Wellington, Young Adult, Brazil

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A. Hi Wellington,

Thank you for your question. HD can affect both men and women, as has happened in your family. When someone who has the HD gene expansion has a child, there is a 50% chance the child will also have the HD gene expansion, regardless of the sex of the child. Although there appears to be a pattern in your family where only one sex has been affected in each generation, this would not affect the chance for other individuals in the family (i.e. the child of someone who has the gene expansion will still have a 50% chance).

I hope this answers your question and please do not hesitate to get back in touch if you have any further queries.

Best wishes

Bill