This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Huntington’s Disease: A Dismal Destiny Essay

1587 words - 6 pages

Fate. It is one of the most rudimentary philosophical debates humanity has dealt with since the creation of civilization. The debate between whether the individual has a predestined future or instead constructs their own path has argument for both sides. However, those individuals afflicted with Huntington’s disease might be more pessimistic on their views towards fate. Huntington’s is among the cruelest fates pitted for humanity because they are cursed with manipulated genetic material given to them by their parents. This genetic disease robs their individuality, intelligence, and motor skills without any hope of reversing the affliction. Those who suffer from the gene mutation lose their intellectual capacities, have uncontrollable limb spasms called chorea, and most understandably experience fits of depression and irritability. In essence, Huntington’s disease is a time bomb. When it goes off those affected by this mutation lose their past, their present, and their future.
To fully understand the fatality of being sentenced with Huntington’s, one has only to look at the human genome. Huntington’s disease is not a sickness that is transmitted through virus or bacteria. Instead, Huntington’s is caused by a mutation in the HTT gene which provides information to produce the huntingtin protein. (, 2013, pp.5) Specifically, Huntington’s is caused by the repetition of the codon sequence CAG which codes for the amino acid glutamine. Little is known regarding what function chromosome four has when working regularly other than its close relationship with neurons. Chromosome four’s infamy comes from the overabundance of repetitions of the amino acid glutamine. In an average human being there is somewhere between 10 to 35 repetitions of CAG. Those with Huntington’s have thirty-nine or more repetitions of CAG on chromosome four. When there is an overabundance of CAG present, the production of the huntingtin protein goes haywire. The protein strands become abnormally elongated. These strands then are cut into lethal fragments which bind to neurons and eventually accumulate which interrupts normal function for neurons. (, 2013, pp.7).When neurons stop functioning, motor skills and intelligence continue to decrease till the individual dies. As author Matt Ridley puts it, “Your destiny, your sanity and your life hang by the thread of this repetition.”(Ridley, 1999, p.55)
The severity of an individual’s Huntington’s revolves solely on the amount of repetitions of the CAG codon. If the individual has exact 39 repetitions then there is a 90 percent chance that they will suffer dementia by the age of 75 and will experience symptoms of Huntington’s as early as age 66. However, if the CAG codon is increased to 40 repetitions the individual will be enveloped in the hands of Huntington’s by age 59. (Ridley, 1999, p.56). In essence the increased presence of glutamine results in the earlier onset of Huntington’s. Individuals usually only have between...

Find Another Essay On Huntington’s Disease: A Dismal Destiny

Huntington's Disease Essay

1551 words - 6 pages Huntington’s Disease is a brain disorder affecting movement, cognition, and emotions (Schoenstadt). It is a genetic disorder generally affecting people in their middle 30s and 40s (Sheth). Worldwide, Huntington’s disease (affects between 3-7 per 100,000 people of European ancestry (Schoenstadt). In the United States alone, 1 in every 30,000 people has Huntington’s disease (Genetic Learning Center). Huntington’s Disease is a multi-faceted disease

huntingtons Essay

1038 words - 5 pages In this vast world, there are many different human genetic disorders that can be inherited in several ways. Many of these disorders are caused by simple Mendelian traits that are inherited from a single copy of a dominant or two copies of a recessive allele. Other disorders are more complicated and involve multiple genes or insertions and deletions of fragments or all of a specific chromosome. Huntington’s disease, a particular genetic disorder

The Divastatin Hereditary Huntington's Disease

1625 words - 7 pages Huntington's Disease is “a devastating, hereditary, degenerative brain disorder for which there is, at present, no cure... HD slowly diminishes the affected individual's ability to walk, talk and reason. Eventually, the person with HD becomes totally dependent upon others for his or her care” (What is Huntington’s Disease). The “penetrance of the gene [is] close to 100% by old age but is low during the years of reproductive life” (Prediction and

Detection of Huntingtons' Chorea

871 words - 3 pages For the average person the idea of a health issue is the occasional upset stomach or catching the flu. Imagine living each gradual day losing a little more control over the use of muscles and nerves. Huntington’s Chorea is a neurodegenerative genetic disease that proves to have a devastating effect and has many varied methods of testing. Huntington’s Chorea, also known as Huntington’s Disease or HD, is a incurable genetic disorder that causes

Huntington's Disease and Memory

727 words - 3 pages Disease Summary Huntington’s disease is of great concern because it is a genetic disease that affects many people worldwide. Huntington’s is described by Wider and Luthi-Carter (2006) as the most prevalent inherited neurodegenerative disorder in humans, affecting between two to eight per 100,000 inhabitants of Western countries. Huntington’s also has a slow onset with an average age of onset around 40 (Wider & Luthi-Carter, 2006). Wider and

Summary of Huntington's Disease

1296 words - 6 pages Disease Summary Huntington’s disease is of great concern because it is a genetic disease that affects many people worldwide. Huntington’s is described by Wider and Luthi-Carter (2006) as the most prevalent inherited neurodegenerative disorder in humans, affecting between two to eight per 100,000 inhabitants of Western countries. Huntington’s also has a slow onset with an average age of onset around 40 (Wider & Luthi-Carter, 2006). Wider and

Hunting Down Bad Genes

2048 words - 8 pages As people approach old age, often times, their bodies deteriorate. Along with the occasional knee replacement or mandatory walker they must push around, the mind also loses its youthful vigor. This languishment of the mind can commonly be linked to dementia or a prodigious amount of diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s Disease, or on a rare occasion, Huntington’s Disease. Huntington’s is a lesser-known problem that is associated with not

Huntington's Disease and Its Ethics

1008 words - 4 pages having “affected” children is immoral. The author makes the claim that people with Huntington’s disease are unlikely to live a minimally satisfying life. It is known however, that Huntington’s disease does not take any affect until 40-50 years of age. Thus, those 40-50 years can easily be lived the same, without the affects of the disease, as those individuals who are not affected with Huntington’s disease. Just as those

Genetic Disorders

1396 words - 6 pages Twyman, “Single-gene disorders are caused by defects in one particular gene, and often have simple and predictable inheritance patterns (, 2003).” Single-gene disorders usually cause symptoms by altering or changing the amount of a protein made by the mutated gene. Offspring of a parent with the mutated gene have a fifty percent chance of inheriting the mutated gene. Huntington’s disease is a single-gene disorder that

Huntington's Disease

1022 words - 5 pages Huntington’s disease (HD) is rare genetic neurodegenerative disease. The neurons in the brain progressively during a person’s lifetime degenerate to a point where the brain’s motor, cognitive, and psychiatric functions are affected. The symptoms from these disturbances can include, unintended weight loss, sleep and circadian rhythm disturbances and autonomic nervous system dysfunction. The average age of the symptoms onset is generally between

A Bioethical Decision

847 words - 4 pages Nathaniel Wu, a talented and dedicated microbiologist, should be hired for the Intercontinental Pharmaceutical Company (ICP) under certain conditions. Wu, who was diagnosed with Huntington’s disease, was seen as the ideal candidate for the employment position the IPC was offering until this inconvenience was unveiled. To offer Wu employment unconditionally is extremely risky for the medical costs and equipment damages he can bring to the

Similar Essays

Huntington’s Chorea Essay

1479 words - 6 pages This paper will research the genetic disease Huntington’s Chorea. This paper will look at the main causes of the disease, what the main effects/symptoms of the disease are, where the disease is mainly found, if there is any cure/ treatment for the disease, ands what research is going on about the disease. In the greek language, chorea means “to dance” (Huntington’s Chorea, 2007). This term help describe what a person with Huntington’s goes

Huntington's Disease Essay

1708 words - 7 pages Huntington’s disease is a degenerative neurological disorder affecting movement, cognition, and emotional state (Schoenstadt). There are two forms of Huntington’s disease (Sheth). The most common is adult-onset Huntington’s disease, with persons usually developing symptoms in their middle 30s and 40s (Sheth). There is an early onset form of Huntington’s disease, beginning in childhood or adolescence, and makes up a small percentage of the

A Briefing Of Huntington's Disease Essay

1331 words - 6 pages Huntington’s disease is one the most overwhelming disorder throughout the medical history. It is a genetic disorder that is caused by an altered gene inherited by a parent that affects the brain. It affects the part of the brain that controls thinking, emotions and movement. This can cause unsteady and uncontrollable movement in the hands, feet and face. Abnormal movements such as walking, talking and swallowing are greatly affected by this

Disorders Of The Nervous System: Huntington’s Disease

1022 words - 5 pages Disorders of the Nervous System: Huntington’s disease Huntington’s disease destroys the organs that carry the functions of the central nervous system. Kalat (2013) states, “Huntington disease (also known as Huntington disease or Huntington’s Chorea) is a severe neurological disorder that strikes about 1 person in 10,000 in the United States” (A.B. Young, 1995, p. 258).Individual’s develop the symptoms in their middle age, but even if it is a