The Alzheimer’s Association defines Huntington’s disease as “a progressive brain disorder caused by a defective gene.” It is an inherited condition that slowly degenerates nerve cells in the central area of the brain that are responsible for movement, mood and cognitive function.
While most people with Huntington’s disease develop signs and symptoms in their 30s or 40s, it’s possible for it to develop much earlier or later in a person’s life. The following are six early warning symptoms to be mindful of, especially if the disorder runs in your family.
At the onset of the Huntington’s disease, coordination issues may be so slight that they are easily dismissed. These changes may include compromised balance, clumsiness, stumbling while walking, or slight difficulty with daily activities like driving.
As the disease progresses, however, these symptoms will worsen. Feeding can also become a problem in later stages, as diminished coordination may cause a person to spill or drop food.