Huntington's Disease

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Human populations have been constantly locked in an evolutionary arms races with pathogens and diseases that have invaded our systems. We must recognize that these mechanisms are continuously evolving, in which we must develop better ways to elude them and control their evolution. To control hereditary diseases in humans, such as Huntington’s disease, researchers must study the evolutionary histories of the genes causing the disease. In this way, an understanding of evolution can enhance the quality of all human life.
Huntington’s disease is a progressive, neurodegenerative genetic disorder. It causes uncontrolled body movements, emotional unstableness, and loss of cognition. The most common form of this disorder is Adult-onset Huntington’s …show more content…

Physical symptoms of this disease can start at any age, from being an infant to being elderly, depending on each generation. Many with this disease usually begin to develop twitching movements and involuntary jerking movements. This is known as chorea. Physical function increasingly starts to worsen as coordinated movement becomes challenging. Failing mental health usually declines until the individual has dementia, and other complications such as heart disease and pneumonia. People with the adult-onset form of this disease usually live to between fifteen to twenty years after the symptoms and signs have begun, due to physical injuries such as falling reducing their life expectancy. Another form, which is less common, of Huntington’s disease is known as the juvenile version. This form of the disease begins in childhood or during the adolescent years. It also affects bodily movements, mental abilities, and …show more content…

A closer look into the disease’s history shows where it persistent and possibly points to a probable solution as there has been no cure for it currently. For example, scientists have concluded that Huntington’s disease started from by an evolutionary event called a founder or population effect, which is categorized as a geographical distribution of the disease, which has a Venezuelan cluster. This originated about two hundred years ago there was a woman that happened to carry the Huntington 's allele. She then bore 10 children. Currently, many citizens of Lake Maracaibo have been able to trace their ancestry, as well as the disease-causing gene, back to this very lineage. In the fishing villages near Lake Maracaibo, which is located in Venezuela, there are more individuals with Huntington 's disease than anywhere else in the world. In some of those fishing villages, more than half of the individuals living there may develop the disease. Scientist at first assumed natural selection would have removed such genetic deficiencies from the human population, however, after further research, scientist have suggested that there two main reasons for the increased occurrence of the disease. The first reason is mutation, which researches have concluded to be biased because additions of the CAG segment are more likely than losses

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