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Huntington's Disease Youth Organization

Will my brother get symptoms at the same age as my parents?

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

www.hdyo.org

Q. My grandma,aunt and father have HD I’ve been tested and I don’t have it….my brother chooses not to be tested for his own reasons he is 27 years old. …. my dad showed signs at 35 same as my aunt and grandma.. I was wondering if my brother does have it, will he start showing symptoms at the same time as my other family members or does each person show at different times?

Aimy

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A. Dear Aimy

Thanks for your message. If your brother does have the gene it does not mean that he will show symptoms at the same age as your dad. He may have a different length of HD gene to your dad (one of the important factors in determining the age it starts). We now know that at least 5 other genes (not the HD gene) will affect age of onset. This is fairly recent news so we don’t know exactly what those genes are or what they do yet but I think we will know the answer to that in the next 2-5 years.

With best wishes

Hugh