At last, hope for families living in the shadow of Huntington’s disease

By: Robin McKie | At last, hope for families living in the shadow of Huntington’s disease | Neuroscience | The Guardian

An innovative drug may soon offer new ways to fight this cruel inherited condition

Matt Ellison was seven when his father was diagnosed with Huntington’s disease. The condition – which is progressive, incurable and invariably fatal – took 15 years to kill John Ellison.

The impact on Matt’s life was profound. His father, who had inherited the disease from his mother, found he could no longer concentrate enough to hold down his job as an engineer at Jaguar. Later he began to lose the power of movement and, eventually, lost his ability to speak. At his local school Matt was mocked because of his father’s odd, uncoordinated gait. The taunting got so bad that Matt stopped attending. “I stayed at home and helped Mum look after Dad,” he recalls.

Related: Woman who inherited fatal illness to sue doctors in groundbreaking case

Related: Huntington’s disease: the price paid for our big brains? – Science Weekly podcast

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