Huntington’s disease is an inherited autosomal dominant disease. The affected individual inherits a copy of the mutant allele from an affected parent. There is a 50 percent chance of the offspring inheriting the mutant allele from the parent and getting affected by this disorder.
This is not a disease caused by bacteria or viral infection or any external germs. This is caused by a faulty gene that is inherited from a parent. This disorder gets transferred from the parent to the offspring with a probability of 50 percent. Genetic testing is possible to count the number of CAG repeats in each of the HTT alleles. If the CAG repeat is more than 36, then the individual is going to develop the disorder later in life. If the CAG repeat is more than 60, then the individual is going to develop the disorder at a younger age and the severity of the disease is also higher. By carrying out genetic testing the person who is likely to develop this disorder can be identified much earlier to the onset of symptoms.
It is also known that when this disease is transferred from the mother to the child, the CAG repeat in the child remains same as the mother. If the transfer takes place from the father, the CAG repeat increases in the child. Hence, from generation to generation the severity of the disease can increase if it is transferred from the father. Genetic test can also be performed on embryos to know whether the child is going to be affected by this disorder even before the child is born. Hence, embryonic genetic screening can be carried out for affected individuals to ensure that their children don’t inherit this disorder.
Medical science can be made use of to ensure that the number of affected people from Huntington disease does not increase.
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