Causes of Huntington's Disease

Scientific research has discovered that the causes for Huntington's disease lie in the mutation of the normal gene structure. Human DNA contains 23 pairs of 46 chromosomes. In normal conditions, a replica of the gene produces a protein called huntingtin. In case of individuals suffering from Huntington's disease, a larger form of huntingtin is produced. Human brain cells are sensitive to this protein and end up stalling their functioning, ultimately destroying the cell.

The human brain contains cells containing a tiny protein Rhes which controls movements of the body. The faulty Huntington protein damages this protein and the effect is drastic. The person begins to lose control of his movements and gradually slips further and further into degeneration.

A person with Huntington's disease has a normal gene as well as a faulty gene. If a child inherits a faulty gene, the possibility of contracting the disease and it affecting subsequent generations is 50%. Else, if the child inherits the normal gene, the possibility of Huntington's disease is ruled out.

Huntington's disease is a familial malady that is passed on to all generations through a faulty protein. Many persons who suffer from the disease have been found to be unaware of its possibility of being propagated through the generations.