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About The Huntington Disease

Context:

Researchers from the University of Szeged, in Hungary, have taken some important strides by studying fruit flies to understand more about Huntington’s disease.

Relevance:

GS II: Health

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Huntington’s Disease: A Rare Genetic Disorder

Huntington’s Disease: A Rare Genetic Disorder

  • Rare, inherited disease leading to progressive degeneration of nerve cells in the brain.
  • Impacts functional abilities, causing movement, cognitive, and psychiatric disorders.
Types of Huntington’s Disease:
  • Adult Onset:
    • Most common form, with symptoms typically starting after age 30.
  • Early Onset (Juvenile Huntington’s Disease):
    • Affects children and teenagers; extremely rare.
    • Manifests with different symptoms and may progress more rapidly.
Cause:
  • Caused by a genetic mutation in the HTT gene, responsible for producing the huntingtin protein crucial for nerve cell function.
  • Normal HTT gene has a DNA stretch specifying glutamine repeats (11 to 31).
  • In Huntington’s, this stretch is expanded to 35 or more repeats, leading to increased severity and earlier onset.
Symptoms:
  • Variety of signs and symptoms affecting movement, cognition, and mental health.
  • Mood swings, reasoning difficulties, uncontrollable movements, and challenges in speaking, swallowing, and walking.
Treatment:
  • Medications available to manage symptoms.
  • No cure; treatments focus on symptom relief but can’t prevent the overall decline associated with the condition.

-Source: The Hindu


February 2024
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