Disease is a "motor" disease, in which patients develop involuntary
dance-like movements. It is an inherited disease, which means
that if a parent passes the appropriate gene to a child, that
child will eventually develop the disease. Huntington's disease
results from degeneration of a brain area known as the basal
ganglia, which is important in generating voluntary movements.
Early in the course of the disease, patients may also show
emotional problems, typically fits of depression or irritability.
Later in the disease, subcortical
dementia occurs. (In some cases, though, memory loss is
among the earliest of symptoms.) There is no cure and no good
treatment; tranquilizers may be used to control the involuntary
movements and alleviate depression, but they cannot reverse
the disease nor stop mental deterioration.
by Catherine E. Myers. Copyright © 2006 Memory Loss and the Brain