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May is the month for Huntington awareness

May is Huntington’s disease awareness month. Huntington’s is a genetic degenerative brain disorder that currently has no treatment or cure.

Once thought to be rare, HD has become one of the most diagnosed hereditary diseases. It affects one out of every 10,000 Americans. If a person inherits the abnormal gene, they will develop the disease. The average progression of the disease is 10-25 years. There is no means of slowing the progression of symptoms, which will eventually lead to death.

Unless directly affected by this disease, most people don’t know much about Huntington’s disease.

Cindy Hillyer of Clinton and Jo Carr of Dover, Ark, have started the Arkansas affiliate for the Huntington’s Disease Society of America. Carr has five family members diagnosed with the disease, including her mother, two brothers and their children. Hillyer’s brother is currently battling the disease.

The disease came to national attention when folk singer Woody Guthrie died from complications of it in 1967 at the age of 55.

For more information on Huntington’s call (800) 345-HDSA or visit their webside at www.hdarkansas.org.

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