Cellular And Molecular Biology: Overview Of Huntington's Disease
Huntington’s disease, found within Cellular and Molecular Biology, is a fatal genetic disorder that causes progressive breakdown of nerve cells in the brain. It is a rare autosomal dominant progressive neurodegenerative disease. In this essay, Huntington’s disease will be discussed in reference to the biology behind the faulty HTT gene, the signs and symptoms associated with the disease, along with coping mechanisms and outcomes for those suffering from the disorder.
To begin, we will discuss the mutant HTT gene that causes Huntington’s disease. This was first discovered by George Huntington, a 22-year-old American doctor who began with writing a paper called On Chorea in 1872 where Huntington’s chorea (more commonly termed Huntington’s disease) was first recognized as an inherited disorder. During that time, people with chorea were often thought to be possessed by the devil with their involuntary muscle jerks and twitches. Throughout this time period of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, chronic adult hereditary chorea was poorly understood since ones who held the gene died before symptoms would develop. Now that people are living longer, the gene has more time to express itself and thus be studied by scientists. Interestingly, HTT was the first disease-associated gene to be molecularly mapped to a human chromosome. (Gusella at al., 1983). It turns out that the HTT gene contains a region where the triplet nucleotide CAG is repeated…