Your Help Goes a Long Way
Help us support families preserve their dignity – make a donation
Huntington's Disease Information
The information in this website was acquired from sources in the United Kingdom and the United States and is presented in accordance with the available data. There are currently relatively few South African statistics accessible, however links to that material are provided on our research and resource page. Note: This website's material and links are offered for informative purposes only and should be discussed with a competent qualified and registered medical professional practitioner.
Huntington's disease is a rare, inherited disease that causes the progressive breakdown (degeneration) of nerve cells in the brain. Huntington's disease has a wide impact on a person's functional abilities and usually results in movement, thinking (cognitive) and psychiatric disorders.
Huntington's disease (HD) is a rare inherited neurological ailment that affects approximately 8,000 people in the UK, with an additional 32,000 people at risk of getting it. There is a substantial frequency of HD in the White and mixed-race populations of South Africa. Most of the families with HD have Dutch or British ancestry, which suggests that they inherited the European HD allele. A 1987 study revealed the HD prevalence among South African Blacks to be very low – around 0.6 cases per million people. Huntington’s disease is believed to have first arrived in South Africa over 300 years ago when Dutch colonists settled into the Western Cape in the 1600’s. Dr. Michael Hayden, a South African researcher, traced back the origins of the disease in this country.
There is no cure for this complex disease, and only a few therapy choices are available to assist to control symptoms. Huntington's disease attacks nerve cells in the brain, resulting in a slew of symptoms that worsen over time.
1. Motor (movement): This disorder is distinguished by involuntary movements (chorea) and impairment of voluntary motions.
2. Cognitive (learning and thinking): disorders begin with a lack of mental quickness and flexibility. Executive functions such as organization, regulation, and perception are the most commonly impaired.
3. Psychiatric (mental illness/health): Depression and anxiety are the most frequent psychiatric disorders, as are changes in personality and mood, such as irritability, apathy, or disinhibition.
donating to the foundation
Raised: R5 000
Goal: R30 000