To raise awareness and support ongoing research into finding effective treatments and ultimately, a cure.
Huntington's Disease (HD) is a hereditary brain disorder that affects around 1 in 100,000 people around the world.
HD is a degenerative disease whose symptoms are caused by the loss of cells in a part of the brain. It is passed from one generation to the next by the transmission from parent to child of a "mutated" (altered) gene. Each child of an affected parent has a one in two (50%) chance of inheriting the gene that causes HD, and is said to be "at risk". People who carry the gene will eventually develop Huntington's unless they die of some other cause before the onset of symptoms. The damage caused to cells affects cognitive ability (thinking, judgment, memory), movement, and emotional control. Symptoms appear gradually, usually in midlife, between the ages of 30 and 50. However, the disease can strike young children (juvenile form) and the elderly.
Over the past 20 years, much has been learned about the causes and effects of HD and about treatment, therapies and techniques for managing the symptoms of the disease. In 1993, after a ten-year search, scientists found the gene that causes HD, and important advances have flowed from this dramatic discovery. Many scientists are actively engaged in the search for effective treatments to stop or reverse the effects of HD, and eventually to cure it altogether.
1. To raise awareness about the disease
2. To support and raise money for research