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2008 National DNA Day Online Chatroom Transcript

This is just one question from an archive of the National DNA Day Moderated Chat held in April 2008. The NHGRI Director and many genomics experts from across NHGRI took questions from students, teachers and the general public on topics ranging from basic genomic research, to the genetic basis of disease, to ethical questions about genetic privacy.


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What is Huntington disease? What does it do to your body?
     Dale Lea, R.N., M.P.H., C.G.C., F.A.A.N.: Developing genetics, health education and community involvement programs and resources, and translating genetic and genomic information for the public. Huntington disease is a progressive brain disorder that causes uncontrolled movements, mental and emotional problems, and loss of thinking ability (cognition). Adult-onset Huntington disease, the most common form of this disorder, usually appears in a person's thirties or forties. Early signs and symptoms can include irritability, depression, small involuntary movements, poor coordination, and trouble learning new information or making decisions. As the disease progresses, involuntary jerking movements (chorea) become more pronounced. Affected individuals may have trouble walking, speaking, and swallowing. People with this disorder typically also experience changes in personality and a decline in thinking and reasoning abilities. Individuals with the adult-onset form of Huntington disease generally survive about 15 to 25 years after signs and symptoms begin. For more information about Huntington disease you can go tohttp://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition=huntingtondisease
Souderton Area High School in PA (10th grade student)


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