Juvenile Huntington's Disease

Juvenile Huntington's disease (JHD) affects children before the age of twenty. If the father is the affected parent, his children can show symptoms much earlier in life than the father - (JHD). CAG repeats for JHD patients are much higher than the adult-onset of Huntington’s disease – repeats maybe 50+, 60+, or more. Upwards of 10 percent of known cases of Huntington's disease is the juvenile form. Individuals who suffer from JHD may experience seizures and many other horrific attributes of this disease earlier in life. Diagnosis of JHD usually happens with symptoms manifest before the age of twenty, and in many cases, is often delayed by false diagnoses such as ADHD.

 

Symptoms of Juvenile Huntington's Disease

The onset and progression of Huntington's disease in younger people is faster than in adults.

  • Stiffness of arms and legs

  • Clumsiness of arms and legs

  • Slowness in movements (bradykinesia)

  • Irregular eye movements

  • Trouble chewing/ swallowing/choking

  • Speech / Communication problems

  • Itching/scratching

  • Seizures may occur

  • Sleep disturbances

  • Decline in cognitive functions (learning ability)

  • Changes in behavior

  • Obsessive-compulsive behaviors

  • Sexual promiscuity

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Watch Dr. Nopoulos discuss the differences between HD and JHD - from "The Purple Road" documentary. 

JHD Slides

UC Davis / HDSA Center of Excellence

JHD CAG Chart

Dr. Peg Nopoulos 

University of Iowa

 

"The Purple Road"

WHAF Award-Winning Film

 

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Listen: Dr. Nopoulos explains what a negative and a positive CAG result is.

Super Hero Kids

Hope

Candy Cotton

"Kids sometimes get Huntington’s disease too"

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