The History of IHA

The start in 1974

In 1974, the first international meeting took place when the founders of the Canadian HD Society (Ralph Walker) and of the British HD Society (Mauveen Jones) attended the annual meeting of the American HD Society.

This meeting was followed by the first meeting together with the conference of the Research Group in the Netherlands in 1977 organised by the Dutch Huntington Society the “Vereniging van Huntington”, where representatives of six countries were present.

The IHA was established at the international meeting in Oxford (England) in 1979, organised by the Huntington’s Disease Association of the United Kingdom.

In 2003 was planned the World Congress on Huntington Disease in Toronto, Canada. It would have been the first fully joined meeting of scientist and representatives of members and contacts of the International Huntington Association. Due to electricity drop out, the board of the IHA with support of scientists organized an improvised meeting.

Dr. Nancy Wexler, one of the leading HD researchers in the world, made the following comment in a speech at the Huntington Society of Canada’s annual meeting:

“Individual people can make an impact, and you’re a group like this all across the country you make a bigger impact, and when you’re international, you make an even bigger impact. There is absolutely no question that the Huntington movement we’re all part of is considered one of the most successful in the entire world. And what are we? Just individuals getting together and saying ‘this disease cannot get me down, I’m going to conquer this thing’. And we’re going to do it soon. We’re going to do it in the lifetime of ourselves and our children.”

The International Huntington Association and its members believe the IHA will be a key factor in achieving that goal.


*1977 – Netherlands
*1979 – England
*1981 – Belgium
*1983 – Canada
*1985 – France
*1987 – Italy
*1989 – Canada
*1991 – Wales
*1993 – USA
*1995 – Belgium
*1997 – Australia
*1999 – Netherlands
*2001- Denmark
*2003- Canada
*2005 – UK
*2007 – Germany
*2009 – Canada
*2011 – Australia
*2013 – Brazil

Since 2013 it has not arranged any world wide meetings.