ABC Medical Center > Huntington’s disease

What is Huntington’s disease?

21:54 - 4 May , 2021


This hereditary condition responds to progressive neuronal degeneration, causing important cognitive, psychiatric, motor, and behavioral anomalies.

The onset of symptoms can occur at any age, but there is a higher incidence in adults between 28 and 42 years old.

Signs and symptoms Huntington’s disease

Symptoms are diverse, but the main characteristics consist of:

  • Balance and postural disturbances.
  • Trouble walking.
  • Difficulty swallowing.
  • Dystonia.
  • Difficulty reading and writing.
  • Problems performing mathematical calculations.
  • Slow in movements.
  • Memory loss.
  • Trouble speaking and concentrating.
  • Inability to reason
  • Incoherence.
  • Uncontrolled behaviors.
  • Muscle stiffness.
  • Social isolation.
  • Depression.
  • Apathy.
  • Tiredness and weakness.
  • Irritability.
  • Insomnia.
  • Bipolarity.
  • Manias.
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder.

Once the signs of the disease appear, functional capacities decrease over time until reaching total prostration, until death occurs between 10 and 30 years after diagnosis.

Suicide rate is very high because the person with Huntington’s disease will need lifelong support and medical care, as well as limitations in movement and expression in the late stage.

Most people with this condition usually understand language and recognize their family and friends, but there is another percentage that finds it impossible to do so. Possible causes of death include:

  • Impaired swallowing.
  • Injuries or damage due to falls.
  • Various infections.
  • Pneumonia.

Diagnosis and treatment Huntington’s disease

Once the specialist analyzes your symptoms and personal and family medical history, they will perform a physical, neuropsychological, and psychiatric evaluation, in addition to requesting blood tests, computed tomography, MRI, and genetic tests.

The neuropsychological examination is based on assessing:

  • Mental agility.
  • Languages.
  • Memory.
  • Reasoning.

The psychiatric exam will measure the following:

  • Ability to judge and deal with complex situations.
  • Emotional state.
  • Behavior.
  • Thought.

Although Huntington’s disease has no cure and the deterioration cannot be stopped, treatment will focus on relieving the psychiatric and movement disorder symptoms, through the intake of various medications, such as:

  • Antidepressants.
  • Antipsychotics.
  • Mood stabilizers.
  • Antispasmodics.

Psychotherapy, physiotherapy, speech and occupational therapy, among others, will also be required. At the Neurological Center, a select group of highly trained and certified doctors in the various neurological specialties are ready to assist you with the quality and warmth that characterizes us.

Nervous system specialties

  • Neurology
  • Neurosurgery
  • Spine surgery
  • Pediatric neurosurgery
  • Neurophysiology
  • Neuro-rehabilitation
  • Neuro-pathology
  • Interventional neuro-radiology
  • Neuropsychology
  • Neuro-oncology
  • Neuro-otology
  • Epilepsy
  • Neuro-ophthalmology
  • Neuroimaging


  • Vásquez-Cerdas M, Morales-Montero F. Diagnóstico de transtornos del movimiento con fenotipos similares a la enfermedad de Huntington. Rev Med Cos Cen. 2020;86(630):34-42.
  • Pino MMM, Trejos HAM, Orozco OJM. Calidad de Vida en pacientes diagnosticados con enfermedad de Huntington y sus cuidadores en el del Departamento del Magdalena. Revista del Hospital Psiquiátrico de La Habana . 2017;14(1):.
  • Neri-Nani G, López-Ruiz M, Estrada-Bellmann I, et al. Consenso Mexicano sobre el diagnóstico de la enfermedad de Huntington. Arch Neurocien. 2016;21(1):64-72.
  • Meza CME, García TV. Enfermedad de Huntington variedad Westphal: Reporte de caso. Rev Mex Neuroci. 2015;16(3):52-57.

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