Gene change that causes Huntington’s more common

Bloomberg reported on UBC research findings that discovered more people have the mutated gene that causes Huntington’s than previously thought.

The study, co-authored by researchers at the University of Aberdeen and the Coriell Institute for Medical Research, says as many as one in 400 people have the mutated gene that causes the disease.

UBC’s Dr. Michael R. Hayden, at the Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics, directed the study.

“The high frequency of these mutations in the general public shows that we may be underestimating the number of elderly patients with Huntington’s disease. Their symptoms may not be clearly recognized as Huntington’s disease. Likewise, it may be that only some of these people will ever go on to develop Huntington’s disease, and that others are protected in some way,” he said.

Huntington’s disease is an inherited condition mostly diagnosed in adults that causes involuntary movements and psychiatric problems.