What is Huntington’s Disease?

Huntington’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative condition that leads to dysfunction and eventual death of brain cells, termed atrophy, triggered by an inherited mutation in the huntingtin (HTT) gene. This gene, crucial for brain development in both fetal stages and throughout life, undergoes mutations causing distinct motor and cognitive disturbances, usually noticeable in individuals aged 30 to 35. However, there are rare instances, around 5% – 10% of cases globally, where a more aggressive form known as Juvenile Huntington’s disease surfaces, even as early as 18 years old.  

Those inheriting the mutated HTT gene may exhibit symptoms like agitation, irritability, and clumsiness arising from changes in the brain’s cortex (its outer layer) and basal nuclei. These parts of the brain are pivotal components of our brain’s feedback mechanism governing motor and emotional responses. Mutations in the HTT gene lead to abnormal levels of huntingtin’s protein, resulting in brain cell toxicity and disrupted functioning. This disruption may manifest as excessive movements alongside emotional and cognitive disturbances, shaping the spectrum of behaviours observed in Huntington’s disease.

Despite its hereditary nature, Huntington’s disease can occasionally appear without a family history due to spontaneous mutations, heightening the risk for future generations compared to the general population. There is a 50/50 chance of passing on the variant gene to offspring. However, advancements in gene-based therapies and personalised medicine offer hope for potential treatments beyond the current ‘symptomatic management’ approach. This opens doors to numerous therapies currently under investigation, promising a brighter future in the management of Huntington’s disease. 

If you would like to learn more about Huntington’s disease, please click the links below to find out more.

Huntington's Disease Timeline

Learn about how Huntington’s disease was discovered and how much we have advanced in knowledge and understanding so far.


Huntington’s disease is caused by a fault on one of these genes- the huntingtin gene which is on chromosome 4, a chromosome we all posses.

Genetic Testing

Making a decision to undergo a genetic testing, is one of the most empowering yet touchest decision to make for any individual. 


There is no specific order in which symptoms may present and they can also vary in their severity.  Symptoms may appear as physical, cognitive or psychological changes.