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The main components of the
basal ganglia are the striatum.  
The striatum collects information
(signals),  processes the signals
and then sends them through
other parts of the basal ganglia.  
This part of the brain is like the
processor of your personal
Basal ganglia:
This part of the brain is responsible for processes which
includes: attention, short and long term memory,
producing and understanding language, solving
problems, making decisions, feelings and thoughts.  
The basal ganglia also controls movement coordination.  
Within the brain of an individuals with (JHD/HD)
Huntington's disease, the cells in the Basal ganglia
begin to die.  In result, motor skills are
affected causing
the uncontrollable movements of the body (chorea).  

It is
very important to understand that HD affects a person
emotionally, mentally, and physically, and must be
treated inclusively.  >
More information

BDNF: (Brain - derived neurotrophic factor) is a protein
related to the "Nerve Growth Factor" (NGF) found in the
brain.  The BDNF helps to keep existing neurons "alive"
and to help the growth of new neurons and synapses.
They are found in vital areas of the brain (specifically
pertaining to  the striatum in Huntington's disease) for
learning, memory, and thinking.  >
More information

Nerves: There are two types of nerves affected by
Huntington's disease. "
Motor nerves" which send signals
from the
central nervous system to the muscular system.

Sensory nerves" which receive signals and pass them to
the central nervous system.  When HD  attacks the
central nervous system, these nerves are damaged or
destroyed.  When this happens, the manifestation of
uncontrollable movements takes place (chorea).
Huntington's disease  (gene found in 1993), is a
hereditary, degenerative, and terminal brain disease.  
Huntington's disease is caused by a genetic defect on
chromosome 4.  Huntington's disease (HD) or Juvenile
Huntington's disease (
JHD), is an autosomal dominant
disease. This means that only one parent must have the
mutated gene for a child to inherit the disease.  

Huntington’s disease slowly diminishes the affected
individual's ability to walk, talk, and reason. It has been
noted that symptoms of Huntington's disease can begin
to show at ages 40-50, however we know that
can show much earlier in life.  In time, the person with
HD relies completely upon others for their personal care.
HD affects the lives of entire families - emotionally,
psychologically, socially, and economically.  HD affects
males, females, and knows no ethnic and racial
boundaries.  So many within the international community
feels as if Huntington's disease is like having
Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and Schizophrenia all at the
same time!

Every child of a person with Huntington's disease has a
50/50 chance of inheriting the fatal gene.  Often, the
individual with HD might seem to be (or act) "drunk" to
the on-looker, due to the physical attributes of the
disease.  Juvenile HD (
JHD) affects younger individuals.
When the onset of the disease happens at age 20 or
before, the disease is called Juvenile Huntington's
disease.  Upwards of 5 percent of known cases of
Huntington's disease is the Juvenile form. Individuals
who suffer with JHD experience the same challenges as
individuals with HD, however the onset of physical and
emotional symptoms happens earlier in life.

*Recent 2013 updated statistics specify that 1 out of every
7,000 people has HD.*
*For description of reduced penetrance and full
penetrance of Huntington's disease (from an actual
positive lab result,
click here.*
What is CAG?
When someone has JHD/HD, part of the DNA sequence (called a CAG - cytosine-adenine-guanine) repeats
more times than normal.  Everyone on the planet has a CAG repeat.  The healthy gene repeat is between 10 to
26 times.  Individuals with a CAG as low as 37 may or may not develop symptoms of the disease. Much more
research must take place with regards to this repeat scale.  Repeats of CAG have been detected over 100

Graphic (below) showing the excessive repetitions of the cytosine-adenine-guanine (CAG) nucleotide
sequence in a gene from a Huntington's disease patient (bottom) compared to a gene from a person without
the neurodegenerative disorder (top).
Credit: National Institute of General Medical Sciences, National Institutes of Health
- Quest Diagnostics
*Dr. Peg Nopoulos
"Ask Dr. Goodman!
(OCB vs. OCD)
The HD View: Dr. Mary
Trigger Behaviors")

""Help4HD" - Dr. Jan Nolta
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George Huntington described
the Huntington gene in
Help scientists understand
protein folding and misfolding
directly from your
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