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SOCIETY OF AMERICA
An online discussion
group for anyone who has been touched by HD
BEACON OF HOPE
|Join us!! For more information, contact our Internet Representative, Sue, at:
or write us at:
Oklahoma Chapter, HDSA., Inc.
525 N.W. Thirteenth Street
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73103
or call our 24 hour HDSA helpline:
|This site is dedicated with love and compassion to all who are touched by HUNTINGTON'S DISEASE|
|INTRODUCTION TO HUNTINGTON'S DISEASE|
|Huntington's Disease is best known for crippling and then killing folksinger and songwriter Woody Guthrie. It is an inherited progressively degenerative disorder of the nervous system characterized by involuntary movements (chorea) and the loss of cognitive ability (dementia).
It affects over 30,000 Americans and over another 150,000 are at risk. (These numbers do not reflect the hundreds of thousands around the world who are also affected or at risk).
Over a period of 10 to 25 years the ability to think, speak, and walk is greatly diminished. Treatment of the disease is symptomatic and supportive. There is no CURE.
Early symptoms include involuntary movements of the body and limbs, marked personality changes--depression, euphoria, and increasing forgetfulness. As the disease progresses, speech becomes slurred, swallowing difficult and gait unsteady (leading to falls and injuries). Reasoning and judgment becomes impaired. Eventually, there is death.
Each child of a parent with HD has a 50/50 chance of inheriting the disease. Children as young as 2 and adults as old as 80 have developed symptoms of the disease, however, symptoms usually appear between the ages of 30 and 50, after a person has married, had children and perhaps passed on the gene. This disease affects members of both sexes as well as all races and ethnic groups.
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