I recently learned that my boyfriend's father has HD. His grandfather and aunt also had died from the disease. I'm very concerned, because he has a 50% chance of having the illness himself. I'm afraid he may be experiencing some of the early symptoms. He becomes angry easily and has become forgetful and quick to fight. His sister has tested negative and his brother postive. He's 24 years old and intelligent and diligent. He doesn't like talking about it so it's hard for me to bring it up. I'm not sure if it's just his temper or the disease affecting him.
Is there a way for me to identify the symptoms on my own and then steps I can take to help him?
I am sorry and glad that you are looking into it. From what I have read HD is due to a mutation in one's genes. It seems that if there multiple mutations the symptoms can occur earlier in a patient. There is some literature out there that basically states that as a family suffers through HD that the younger gneration may have symptoms earlier due to the increase in mutations. My father showed symptoms in his 50s. Many of them were very subtle so we didn't think anything of it. Some signs included uncontroled movments when not paying attention. For example my father had this weird hand movemnet that would occur with out him knowing it when he wasn't concentrating on something such as watching a movie or tv. Mentally my father was always stubborn but I think his stubborness got worse with the progression of the disease. You can get genetic testing but I would suggest talking to a genetic counclier prior to undergoing testing. I know for myself I am very aware that I am also at risk for the disease and every time i trip over my feet or i notice an odd muscle movement I think if this could be the disease. I wish you luck and hope for the best.