Juvenile Huntington’s Disease

In approximately ten percent of cases, HD affects children or adolescents. Children most often inherit the disease from their fathers (adult-onset HD is inherited from both parents with the same frequency). The symptoms of the juvenile form, or Westphal variant, of HD are somewhat different from adult-onset HD.

Initial symptoms usually involve slow, stiff and awkward walking and talking, choking, clumsiness and falling. Later, the child may become slow to respond and performance at school may become erratic. The course of the juvenile form is generally more rapid than the adult-onset HD.