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Old 12-07-18, 11:44 AM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Hastings, East Sussex, UK
Posts: 1,152
Default Re: My grandsons diagnosis

Hi there

My son was also diagnosed with HD at 25 - with a CAG repeat count of 56. He had been showing Behavioural and Movement issues for quite a while.

It seems that the beginnings of HD can have different starting points for each individual. The Neurologist will always refer to family history and how the mutant gene may have transferred down to your grandson. It’s not an easy question to answer here without having more family details. From the little info that you give it might seem that the disease could be on his father’s side of the family. If that’s the case then the age of the father at your grandson’s birth could, possibly, influence the onset of "early symptoms" in your grandson.

It is written that older fathers have changes in their sperm content as they grow older, causing the mutant gene to expand, whereas the egg, waiting to be fertilised, has been ready, in the same state for many years.

So, with earlier onset of symptoms you might possibly observe “behavioural and emotional” issues earlier than movement disorder and cognitive problems.

Symptoms, such as low mood, are experienced objectively but cannot be observed, while disease signs like chorea are apparent on examination. Signs and symptoms often go hand-in-hand, but this is not always the case. Some HD expansion carriers have clear motor abnormalities but report no symptoms; more commonly, subjective complaints of cognitive and affective symptoms precede motor onset.”

Premanifest and Early Huntington’s Disease

If you feel that you want to learn more about JHD (under 20) and young onset HD (over 20) I found it very useful to read through the following handbook - and many others. This gave me a solid background from where I could “see where it all started” and know what had to be done, family-wise, for the ongoing care of my son.

The Juvenile HD Handbook - A Guide for Families and Caregivers

Best wishes …

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