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My aunt has HD, could I have it?

December 28, 2015

Huntington's Disease Youth Organization

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My aunt has HD, could I have it?

Q. One of my aunts is suffering from HD, she is the sister of my mum. My mum is already 50 years old and I wonder if I could had inherited?

Carlos, Young Adult

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A. Hi Carlos,

Thank you for the question, a lot depends on the risk of your mum. I am assuming because your aunt has HD that one of our grandparents had HD too and that is where your aunt inherited the condition from. This would mean, if your mum was born from the same two parents as her sister (your aunt), that she faces a 50% risk of inheriting HD from her parent who had HD. You don’t mention anything about your mum’s HD status and this is the important part for you. If your mum has not had genetic testing or has not been diagnosed by a doctor as having symptoms of HD, then your mum still has a 50% risk of having HD, but the fact she is 50 yrs old and without symptoms is potentially a good sign, although people can get HD at any age most get it from 30-55. If your mum is still at 50% risk then your risk is currently 25%, but this can change depending on what happens with your mum. If she does go on to have HD then your risk goes up to 50%, if she doesn’t have HD then your risk is 0%.

I hope that helps explain things, if you want to talk more just send me an email.