Huntington's Disease

Huntington’s disease is an inherited autosomal genetic disorder primarily affecting adults that results in neurodegeneration of cells in the striatum region of the brain. The striatum controls emotions, body movements, and other neurological processes. This loss of brain cells leads to chorea (involuntary movements), incoordination, physical and mental deterioration, and ultimately, death.

Why Choose UT Southwestern?

UT Southwestern Medical Center is a leader in clinical care for neurodegenerative disorders, along with genetics research, screening, and the treatment.

Our Genetics and Metabolism team work in collaboration with the Movement Disorders, a participating center in the Huntington’s study group (HSG), to provide a team based approach to care. This includes provide access to clinical trials.

Symptoms

Symptoms of Huntington’s disease include:

  • Chorea: abnormal and unusual involuntary movements or impaired voluntary movements, including facial movements, grimaces, head turning to shift eye position, quick or sudden jerking motions, and unsteady gait
  • Rigidity
  • Dystonia
  • Incoordination
  • Behavioral disturbances
  • Dementia that slowly gets worse, including disorientation or confusion, loss of judgment and memory, personality and speech changes, and cognitive impairments
  • Irritability and impulsivity
  • Change in mood
  • Paranoia or psychosis
  • Trouble swallowing

Signs of the disease in children include:

  • Loss of previously learned skills
  • Rigidity
  • Slow movements
  • Parkinsonism

There’s no known cure, but medications can reduce symptoms such as chorea, rigidity, dystonia and other behavioral symptoms.

Request an Appointment

To schedule an appointment with a Huntington’s disease specialist at UT Southwestern’s facilities in Dallas, or to learn more about our services, request an appointment or call 214-645-8300.