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Old 27-11-17, 06:27 AM   #1
Carmelina
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Join Date: Nov 2017
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Default Alcohol abuse and HD

I am new to this forum and have a question I am hoping you all could help me with. I have been researching my fathers side of the family for the past couple of years. It turns out HD disease runs in the family. My great grandmother had it and 4 of my grandfathers 5 sisters also had it. My grandfather died young, at 49 and so did my dad at 51. Both of heart attacks. They both were alcoholics and I figured the alcohol use is what ultimately caused their heart attacks.
I have been reading other peoples posts and stories and I notice alot of people mention alcohol abuse in people with HD.
My question is: Is alcohol abuse common in people with HD? Or is it possible that some people use it as a way of self medicating? A way to deal with some of the onset symptoms?
I am wondering now if my grandfather and father may have actually been HD+ and not realized it. Or onset symptoms may have been masked by alcohol use.

Or would symptoms normally be fairly obvious by those ages?

I hope this question is okay, I am not very educated on HD yet and am still learning. I just havent seen any articles discussing any correlation between alcohol use and HD.
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Old 27-11-17, 07:10 PM   #2
Trish
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Default Re: Alcohol abuse and HD

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmelina View Post
I am new to this forum and have a question I am hoping you all could help me with. I have been researching my fathers side of the family for the past couple of years. It turns out HD disease runs in the family. My great grandmother had it and 4 of my grandfathers 5 sisters also had it. My grandfather died young, at 49 and so did my dad at 51. Both of heart attacks. They both were alcoholics and I figured the alcohol use is what ultimately caused their heart attacks.
I have been reading other peoples posts and stories and I notice alot of people mention alcohol abuse in people with HD.
My question is: Is alcohol abuse common in people with HD? Or is it possible that some people use it as a way of self medicating? A way to deal with some of the onset symptoms?
I am wondering now if my grandfather and father may have actually been HD+ and not realized it. Or onset symptoms may have been masked by alcohol use.

Or would symptoms normally be fairly obvious by those ages?

I hope this question is okay, I am not very educated on HD yet and am still learning. I just havent seen any articles discussing any correlation between alcohol use and HD.
Hi Carmelina (nice name by the way).
Welcome to Messy Board

I don' think that anyone could really ever give a definitive answer to the question of whether your father and grandfather may have had HD and alcohol played a part in it being masked etc.

That's not just us in here, that's the science world too I dare say.

The thing with alcohol is people drink/use it for all kinds of reasons. I know my hubby wasn't a big drinker and neither was his dad. My dad was a big drinker and I have brothers who have been/are registered alcoholics but we don't have HD in our family.

It's perfectly reasonable to think HD may have been a part of the factor but it would be wrong to suggest alcoholism or alcohol abuse is 'common' when it comes to people with the positive gene.

Putting myself in your shoes though, I think I would be looking at how prevalent HD has been in the family and be wondering too if HD had been missed with the alcohol issues.

Thought I would also add to the above on the bit that asks

Quote:
Or would symptoms normally be fairly obvious by those ages?
Where HD can affect people at at ages well before 49 or 51; and well after those ages too, it's difficult to say if the symptoms would have been fairly obvious to either the people themselves or others around them.

In terms of people being surrounded by others with the gene and having a knowledge of its possible progression there can be a tendency to symptom spot, and see things even if they are not actually there. It can still have a detrimental affect on a person's mental health whether gene positive or not.

I'm aware I am not really providing answers to your questions outright but maybe it's worth speaking to your own GP about your findings (I'm assuming you have documentation such as death certs stating Huntington's for the relatives you say had it). Going armed with the paperwork it may open up a more informed dialogue as to what all the new data may mean for you and anyone else in the family?
__________________
I tried.

Last edited by Trish; 27-11-17 at 10:33 PM. Reason: Adding extra text
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Old 28-11-17, 07:38 AM   #3
Carmelina
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Join Date: Nov 2017
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Default Re: Alcohol abuse and HD

Thank you so much for your reply. You are likely right about symptom spotting. Many family members on my fathers side were institutionalized due to their huntingtons so I have been able to see their medical records and death certificates. As well, these aunts have children living with HD now. With my father and grandfather passing at young ages it scared me to think they may have carried the gene unknowingly.

I appreciate you taking the time to reply. I will ask my GP his opinion, to put my mind as ease.

Thanks:)


Welcome to Messy Board

I don' think that anyone could really ever give a definitive answer to the question of whether your father and grandfather may have had HD and alcohol played a part in it being .......
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