Huntington's disease is also known as "St. Vitus' dance" and is a rare hereditary disease that affects the brain and causes movement disorders, as well as changes in character and even dementia.
The onset of the disease can occur at any age, but the first symptoms usually appear between the ages of 20 and 40, but can also occur in early childhood and old age. Huntington's disease occurs at a low rate of two to eight per 10,000 people in the population.
Doctors have little leeway when it comes to treatment options and the progression of Huntington's disease. Many substances that counteract the progressive degradation of nerve cells (neuroprotection) have been subjected to tests without so far being able to record a clear effect on the course of the disease. Up to now, only the symptoms of the disease can be alleviated with the help of drugs.
Further help for those affected and their relatives is offered by corresponding self-help groups.