One many of the physical symptoms are associated

One
of the disorders that I have learned about this unit that I found to be very
interesting would have to be Huntington’s Disease. I had somewhat of a general
understanding of the disease but it was put into perspective when learning
about its etiology, effects, symptoms, treatments, management, as well as what
biological parts of the human body are affected by the illness. According to an
article on MedScape.org, Huntington’s Disease first came to light in 1872 by
George Huntington and is characterized as a progressive disease that is caused
by the repeat of nucleotide CAG in the gene HTT (Bordelon 2012). The repeat of
CAG is normal but becomes an issue when it is repeated extensively. Patients
diagnosed with Huntington’s have more of the CAG nucleotide or “glutamine” in
their gene but it is not necessarily known how or why extra glutamine causes
the symptoms of this disease. This in turn begins to affect the basal ganglia
in the brain, which is responsible for the “motor movement” and coordination of
the body. When there is excess glutamine or the extensive repeat of CAG,
neuronal cell death begins to occur specifically in the striatum of the basal
ganglia, which results in the onset and progression of Huntington’s Disease
(Liou 2010). The basal ganglia is the part of the brain that is most affected
by HD and it is strongly notable when it comes to the appearance of the brain
as well. Since the nerve cells begin to die, the openings become substantially
larger than those of a person without the disease. Although this disease is
more common among older individuals, in rare cases the onset may occur in early
childhood and teen years. Due to the fact that this is a disease that occurs
within the genes, it is essentially passed down from parent to child. The more
repeats of the gene determines how early the onset will occur. Due to the fact
that HD affects the central nervous system and the area of the brain that
controls motor movement, many of the physical symptoms are associated with
abnormal bodily functions, loss of control, and muscle problems as well as the
onset of cognitive disorders. The most common movement disorders related to HD
would be chorea and dystonia. Chorea is essentially movements that happen
involuntary such as jerking and squirming around and dystonia consists of
problems with muscle movement (MayoClinic 2017). One’s posture and balance is
also affected negatively and these movement disorders make it extremely
difficult for daily functioning. Not only does HD cause movement disorders, but
cognitive disorders as well. HD does not have a cure and progressively gets
worse. Although the disease itself does not necessarily result in death, the
complications and difficulties associated with it most certainly do. Current
progress and treatment of the disease would include those such as medications and
therapies. Some medications may help with the depression and involuntary
movements and therapies can be utilized to work on the speech and physical
problems that come along with HD. While these do not necessarily cure the disease,
they do play a role in lessening the severity of the symptoms. A cure has yet
to be developed for those that suffer from Huntington’s but it is extremely
difficult because it is a disease that must be cured or reversed at a cellular
and molecular level.