Skip to main content

Symptoms & Diagnosis


Symptoms of HD

Huntington’s disease symptoms affect people in different and unpredictable ways. Once symptoms start, commonly around 35-50 years of age, the symptoms continue to change for ten to twenty years.   

Most people with HD have mood and personality changes, thinking and judgement difficulties, and move in uncontrollable ways. The disease usually progressions in five stages and ends, sadly, in death. 

The early symptoms of HD are typically: 

  • Irritability

  • Depression

  • Mood swings

  • Trouble driving

  • Trouble learning new things

  • Forgetting facts

  • Trouble making decisions

As the disease gets worse, these symptoms become more common:

  • Trouble feeding oneself

  • Trouble swallowing

  • Strange and uncontrolled movements that are either slow or wild and jerking (chorea)

  • Loss of memory and judgment

  • Changes in speech

  • Personality changes

  • Disorientation and confusion

  • Hallucinations, paranoia, and psychosis

  • Poor judgment. This can cause injury or problems with the law.

HD Reach exists to help you.

We have experts and resources to guide you and your loved ones to the information you’re looking for while giving you the support you need. No one should have to face HD alone, and with HD Reach you’ll never have to. 

HD Myths and Beliefs  

2018 HD Education Day video presentation by Drs. Miroslav Cuturic and Mary Edmondson entitled "Busting HD Myths". Dr. Mary Edmondson and Dr. Miroslav Cuturic have a conversation about myths and beliefs that impact how people approach HD. Interpretation, tradition, legends, folklore, and truths are the lens through which we see HD. Medical professionals and families interpret Huntington's disease in ways that color choices and effect quality of life. Are our beliefs more powerful than the facts?