Huntington’s disease commonly causes symptoms which are related to movement, cognitive and psychiatric disorders which are wide in the spectrum. Symptoms of this disease vary from person to person. While in the course of the disease, some of the disorders appear to be much dominant on their functional ability.
Disorders related to movement
Involuntary movement and impairments in the voluntary movements are included in the movement disorder of Huntington’s disease:
- Movements are writhing or involuntary jerkings i.e. chorea.
- Problems in muscles, which includes muscle contracture or muscle rigidity i.e. dystonia.
- Eye movements are abnormal and slow.
- Gait is impaired and posture and balance also.
- Voluntary movement impairments have a greater impact as compared to the involuntary movements. This impact is seen in the ability to work, performing daily activities and communicate and in retaining independently.
- Difficulty in focusing on the tasks.
- Lack of flexibility.
- Lack of the tendency to get stuck on a thought, action or behavior.
- Lack of impulse control which results in the outbursts, acting without sexual promiscuity and without thinking.
- One’s own behavior and abilities have been lacked.
- Slow processing of thoughts or in finding new words.
- Problems in learning new data.
Depression is the most common type of psychiatric disorder associated with Huntington’s disease. Psychiatric signs and symptoms of Huntington’s disease are as follow:
- Irritability feeling
- Loss of energy
- Social withdrawal
- Frequent thoughts of suicide, dying or dead.
Some other common psychiatric disorder consists of:
- Mania is a change in mood, overactivity, inflated self-esteem and behavior is impulsive.
- Bipolar disorder, it is simply the changes in the moods like depression and mania.
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder, it is a condition which has recurrent, intrusive thought and repetition of behaviors.
The loss in weight is also very common in the individuals who have Huntington’s disease.
Symptoms associated with juvenile Huntington’s disease
In younger patients who have Huntington’s disease, they have the slightly different type of disease as compared to that of adults. Changes that are connected with disease includes following:
- Rigid and contracted muscles that affect the gait i.e. especially seen in the young children.
- Fine motor skill gets changed and they might be noticeable in terms of handwriting.
- Very few involuntary movements.
- Problems with behavior.
- Problems related to the earlier learned academic or physical skills.
- Particular, fast drop in the academic performance.
- Living activities are no longer managed by such individuals.
- Problems in the communication and swallowing of food.
- Problems in working.