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If my aunts and uncle had HD could I have it?

September 25, 2017

Huntington's Disease Youth Organization

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


If my aunts and uncle had HD could I have it?

Dear Cameron

Thank you for your question. Whether or not you will be at risk of HD will depend on whether or not your mother has the HD gene expansion. If your mother does not have the gene expansion, you would not be at any increased risk of HD.

You don’t mention whether or not your mother has had a genetic test for HD herself (most people at risk of HD choose not to have a test), and assuming that she hasn’t had a test we would expect that the maximum chance of you being at risk of developing HD would be 25% (1 chance in 4). You may find the HDYO article helpful, as it describes how the gene can be passed on in families in more detail (there is a section about the ‘25%’ probability).

Your local Genetic service would be able to provide more information if you wish, and more detail about your family history (e.g. how old your mother is, how old your aunts/uncle/any other affected relatives were when they developed symptoms of HD) would also help a Genetic Counselor provide you with more accurate information tailored to your family circumstances. From your address I think you are in the USA Cameron, so the website may help you to find your local Genetics service if you would like to explore this further.

I hope this helps answer your question, and please do not hesitate to get back to us if we can be of any further help.

All the best