What is Juvenile Huntington’s disease?

Juvenile Huntington’s disease (JHD) refers to anyone who develops signs or symptoms of HD before they are 20 years old. It is a relatively rare condition and only about 5-10% of people affected with HD will develop symptoms this young. This can make it quite an isolating experience for the person affected by HD, their family, and any professionals that are helping them.

HD in young people can present differently to HD in adults, although this is not always the case. Children, and to a lesser extent teenagers, with HD are more likely to show rigidity of the muscles. It is less common for them to show the chorea (involuntary movements) that is often seen in adults with HD. Epilepsy can occur in some people with JHD, and this occurs more commonly than in adults with HD.

For further information, please contact Helen Santini, Specialist JHD Adviser, Tel 01279 507 656 or email helen.santini@hda.org.uk

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