How does Huntington’s disease (HD) typically progress?

Huntington’s disease can start at different ages in different people. It gets worse over time.

Early stage

Symptoms are easier to handle early in the disease. You might feel moody or clumsy and struggle with complex thinking. You may also have small uncontrollable movements, but typically, you can continue your everyday activities.

Middle stage

Physical and mental changes during the middle stage make working, driving and household upkeep impossible. You may begin to have trouble with swallowing, and you might lose weight. Your balance may be off, increasing your risk of falling.

You can still manage your personal care. Typically, you can handle bathing, getting dressed and eating on your own or with some help.

End stage

During the final stage of HD, you’ll need help with everything. You’re usually unable to leave bed. This is when most people receive care day and night.

Will Huntington’s disease (HD) kill you?

Huntington’s disease makes everyday activities more difficult to do over time. How fast it progresses varies from person to person. But the average lifespan after diagnosis is 10 to 30 years. HD itself is not fatal. But you can die from its complications, such as infections like pneumonia or injuries related to falls.

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