What Is Huntington's Disease?

Northwestern Medicine Huntington's DiseaseHuntington's Disease (HD) is a hereditary degenerative disorder of the central nervous system leading to motor, cognitive, and behavioral problems. It is inherited in an autosomal dominant fashion, meaning that each child of an affected parent, regardless of gender, has a 50 percent chance of inheriting the disease-causing gene. The prevalence of HD is estimated at 1/10,000 individuals in the United States. Symptoms usually occur between ages 30 to 50 years, but have been seen in persons as young as five years or as old as 90 years.

Northwestern Medicine Neurosciences offers comprehensive care and management of HD, including neuropsychiatric care and genetic counseling. It is our goal to improve the quality of patient care in HD, advance knowledge about the disease, and provide support for those affected by the disease as well as their families. We aim to achieve this through:

  • A comprehensive approach to the diagnosis and treatment of the disease, with the collaboration of specialists, including:
    • Adult and pediatric neurologists
    • Neuropsychiatrists
    • Neuropsychologists
    • Genetics counselor
    • Social workers
    • Dedicated neurology nurses
    • Rehabilitation therapy team
  • Promoting clinical and basic science research to find a cure for Huntington disease and improve quality of life through participation in research trials.

To schedule an appointment, please call 312.695.7950 or email HD@nm.org and a member of our team will be in touch. Please note, this email is not intended to be used for specific clinical questions or issues. For more information, please call 312.503.4397 or use the MyNM Patient Portal to contact your treatment team.

Related Resources


Research at Northwestern Medicine

Clinical Trial at Northwestern Medicine

  • Huntington Disease Society of America: learn more about Huntington's Disease, including symptoms, inheritance, diagnosis and treatments.
  • Huntington's Disease Youth Organization: learn about this non-profit voluntary organization that provides information and education, along with support for young people impacted by Huntington's Disease.
  • Center for Rare Neurological Diseases: Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine promotes clinical and basic science research to improve the quality of life for those with HD and to work towards a cure.
  • Take the Huntington’s Disease Quiz: The following quiz, based on information from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, provides essential information on this devastating disease.

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