Wednesday, April 17, 2024

What Is The Difference Between Huntington’s Disease And Parkinson’s

Is There A Link

Parkinson’s & Huntington’s: What’s the difference?

Some people have MS and Parkinsonâs, but it could be a coincidence.

Research suggests that the damage that MS causes to your brain can lead some people to develop Parkinsonâs later on.

If you have MS, your immune system triggers ongoing inflammation. This can create lesions in your brain that cause Parkinsonâs disease. If lesions form in certain spots in your brain, they can affect how it makes dopamine.

Cellular Replacement Therapies For Pd And Hd

In 1967, in an important breakthrough, Cotzias et al. demonstrated that the administration of a precursor of DA, L-dopa, improved motor function in PD patients, leading to the thought that the cure for PD was discovered. Also in the 1960s, tetrabenazine was introduced as an antipsychotic but also showed beneficial effects for the treatment of hyperkinetic motor symptoms, like chorea in HD patients . To date, it is known that these drugs do not reverse disease progression and in many cases do not have the desired effects. This has brought the idea that local production of DA and GABA, and therefore the replacement of the neurons that produce it, would be the ideal treatment for these diseases. The fact that the major symptoms present in PD and HD patients are due to the loss of dopaminergic and GABAergic neurons in specific brain regions, respectively, means that replacing these specific cell types could help relieve some of the symptoms present in patients. This has given rise to different branches of investigations seeking cellular replacement-based therapies, which have shown promising results in animal models for these diseases as well as in affected patients .

What Is Parkinsons Disease

Parkinsons disease is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system mainly affecting the motor system. The motor symptoms of Parkinsons disease result from the degeneration of dopamine generating cells in the substantia nigra in the midbrain. The causes of this cell death are poorly understood. Early in the course of the disease, the most obvious symptoms are shaking, rigidity, slowness of movement and difficulty in walking and gait. Later, thinking and behavioral problems arise, with dementia commonly occurring in the advanced stages of the disease. Depression is the most common psychiatric symptom. Other symptoms include sensory, sleep problems and emotionally related problems.

Parkinsons disease is more common in older people, and most cases occur after the age of 50 when it is seen in young, it is called young onset Parkinsons disease.Diagnosis is by medical history and physical examination. There is no cure for PD, but medications, surgery, and multidisciplinary management can provide relief from the disabling symptoms. The main classes of drugs useful for treating motor symptoms are levodopa, dopamine agonists, and MAO-B inhibitors. These drugs too can cause disabling side effects. Deep brain stimulation has been tried as a treatment modality with some success.

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How Are They Alike

MS and Parkinsonâs both affect your central nervous system, which includes your brain and spinal cord. Thatâs why they both can affect how you move, sleep, feel, and talk.

These diseases both affect your nerves. MS can break down the coating, called myelin, that surrounds and protects your nerves. In Parkinsonâs, nerve cells in a part of your brain slowly die off.

Both can start out with mild symptoms, but they get worse over time.

Common symptoms of both diseases include:

  • Shaky fingers, hands, lips, or limbs
  • Slurred speech thatâs hard for others to understand
  • Numb or weak limbs that make your walk unsteady
  • Loss of muscle control that often affects one side of your body at first, then later both
  • Spastic limb movements that are hard to control
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control
  • Poor balance

Depression is another symptom common to both conditions.

May Lead To A Better Understanding Of The Brain’s Response To Neurodegeneration

75+ Huntington Vs Parkinson
Boston University School of Medicine
A new study strongly suggests that the brains of people who have died of Huntington’s disease and Parkinson’s disease show a similar response to a lifetime of neurodegeneration, despite being two very distinct diseases.

A new study strongly suggests that the brains of people who have died of Huntington’s disease and Parkinson’s disease show a similar response to a lifetime of neurodegeneration, despite being two very distinct diseases.

The findings, which appear in the journal Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience, found that most of the genes perturbed in brains from both diseases are related to the same immune response and inflammatory pathways. Inflammation in the central nervous system has recently been shown to play a role in a number of different neurodegenerative diseases, including HD and PD, but this is the first direct comparison of these two distinct diseases.

“Though no such treatment yet exists, this finding will lead to experiments to better understand the specific mechanisms of the inflammatory response in the neurodegenerating brain, which may in turn lead to new treatments.”

Labadorf believes that at present, these findings are too preliminary to suggest new clinical treatments. However, as many anti-inflammatory drugs are already available, there may be a relatively short path to designing clinical trials for drugs that modulate the inflammatory response in people with neurodegenerative disease.

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What Is The Difference Between Huntingtons Disease And Parkinsons

Unfortunately, many people know someone who is affected by Huntingtons Disease or Parkinsons disease. The key difference between these two degenerative brain disorders is that while Huntingtons Disease causes emotional difficulties, cognitive abilities, and abnormal repetitive movements, Parkinsons causes a slowing of movements and affects mobility and muscle control due to rapid brain degeneration.

Some of the other significant differences between the two are:

Stage of Life When Symptoms Appear: While Huntingtons Disease symptoms can begin to appear in early adulthood, Parkinsons Disease more commonly affects those who are 70 or older.

Cause: Huntingtons Disease is caused by a defective gene, whereas Parkinsons is caused by the degeneration of neurons in the center of the brain.

Life Expectancy Sadly, those affected by Huntingtons Disease are expected to live only 15-20 years after the first onset of symptoms. Conversely, Parkinsons has no effect on life expectancy but can dramatically reduce the quality of life for those affected.

How Is Huntingtons Disease Treated

At this point in time, there is no cure for Huntingtons Disease. There is also no known way to slow or prevent the disease from progressing. For now, treatment focuses on the management of symptoms and optimizing the quality of life for those affected. Each person affected by Huntingtons Disease will experience their symptoms uniquely. Meaning no two patients are the same, and no two patients exhibit identical symptoms.

There are a wide variety of medications and therapies that are available to help people with Huntingtons Disease. It is important to practice patience and perseverance when beginning a new medication as it takes time to figure out how these medications interact with your body and with each other. It may take weeks or months to figure out the correct combination and dosage of medications.

Speech therapy is also a very important part of a treatment plan for Huntingtons Disease. One of our highly specialized virtual speech therapists can offer support and guidance on the road to managing symptoms. Connect with one of our speech therapists by scheduling your free introductory calltoday!

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Key Difference Parkinsons Vs Huntingtons Disease

The key difference between Parkinsons and Huntingtons disease is that Parkinson disease is a disorder with rigidity, tremors, slowing of movements, postural instability and gait disturbances usually occurring in old age due to degeneration of the substantia nigra of the midbrain while Huntingtons disease is a familial neurodegenerative disorder usually occurring in a younger population, characterized by emotional problems, loss of thinking ability and abnormal choreiform movements .

Cause Signs And Symptoms Treatment And Management Age Of Onset Of Parkinsons And Huntingtons Disease:

Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease


Parkinsons Disease: PD is caused by the degeneration of the neurons in Substantia nigra of the midbrain.

Huntingtons Disease: HD is caused by the mutations in the HTT gene.

Age of Onset:

Parkinsons Disease: PD usually occurs after the age of 50.

Huntingtons Disease: HD usually occurs in the thirties or forties.


Parkinsons Disease: PD causes tremors, rigidity, slowing of movements and gait disturbances.

Huntingtons Disease: HD causes higher function abnormalities such as problems in thinking and reasoning together with characteristic chorea.


Parkinsons Disease: PD is treated with dopamine-enhancing drugs such as levodopa, dopamine agonists, etc.

Huntingtons Disease: HD has no curative treatment and main the treatment is supportive.

Life expediency:

Parkinsons Disease: PD doesnt have an effect on life expectancy. However, it reduces the quality of life.

Huntingtons Disease: HD patients live 15-20 years after the appearance of the first symptom.

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What Makes Them Different

MS and Parkinsonâs have different causes. They usually start to affect you at different ages, too.

MS often affects people between ages 20 and 50, but children get it, too. Parkinsonâs usually starts at age 60 or older, but some younger adults get it.

MS is an autoimmune disease. That means your bodyâs immune system goes haywire for some reason. It attacks and destroys myelin. As myelin breaks down, your nerves and nerve fibers get frayed.

In Parkinsonâs, certain brain cells start to die off. Your brain makes less and less of a chemical called dopamine that helps control your movement. As your levels dip, you lose more of this control.

Some genes may put you at risk for Parkinsonâs, especially as you age. Thereâs a small chance that people who are exposed to toxic chemicals like pesticides or weed killers can get it, too.

These symptoms are more common if you have MS. They not usually found in Parkinsonâs:

  • Dizziness or vertigo, where you feel like the room spins around and you lose your balance

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Gene Therapies For Pd And Hd

For the development of new therapies for PD and HD, it is important to include, especially for HD and genetic forms of PD, genetic correction/editing of the mutated gene. Nowadays, there are several gene silencing/editing technologies, including RNA interference , antisense oligonucleotides , and clustered interspaced short palindromic repeats , which can be used as therapies for the treatment of PD and HD. For a more in-depth knowledge of gene therapy delivery systems and other cellular targets, reviews are published elsewhere .

As previously stated, PD is characterized by the selective degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in the SN, thus approaches aiming to revert this loss based on the delivery of genes encoding for enzymes required for DA synthesis could be useful. The first enzyme for DA synthesis is TH, which requires the enzyme GTP-cyclohydrolase-1 to synthesize a cofactor for DA biosynthesis . TH converts tyrosine into L-dopa, which finally is converted into DA by the aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase . Therapies to deliver enzymes involved in DA synthesis have been proved in preclinical and clinical studies showing its benefits.

How Can Speech Therapy Help

Basal ganglia parkinson

Huntingtons Disease affects each person differently, so the course of treatment with a speech and language pathologist will vary from patient to patient as well. To begin, the speech therapist will work to establish the areas of communication and speech that pose the greatest challenge. From there they will develop a plan to help support their client and improve not only their communication but their quality of life as a whole.

Whether it is swallowing problems or more frequent coughing and choking due to poor muscle tone or communication problems related to cognitive and thinking skills, a highly qualified speech therapist can provide an ample amount of support and guidance.

Some people whose communication is affected by Huntingtons Disease may attempt to withdraw or avoid social interaction simply because it is too difficult or painful. It is widely agreed upon that the earlier that intervention and support are introduced, the better the chance is of therapy being successful. This disease is degenerative and can change over time, so frequent and consistent time with a speech therapist can be very important.

If you or someone you love is struggling with communication due to Huntingtons Disease, there is help available. Let us help to connect you with one of our highly specialized and qualified speech therapists and schedule your free introductory call today!

Read Also: On-off Phenomenon

On The Right Track To Treat Movement Disorders: Promising Therapeutic Approaches For Parkinsons And Huntingtons Disease

  • 1Center for Integrative Biology, Faculty of Sciences, Universidad Mayor, Santiago, Chile
  • 2Faculty of Medicine, Biomedical Neuroscience Institute, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile
  • 3Program of Cellular and Molecular Biology, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile
  • 4Center for Geroscience, Brain Health, and Metabolism, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile

What Foods Should Parkinson’s Patients Avoid

Eat too many sugary foods and drinks as these can negatively impact your immune system. Opt for naturally sweetened food and reduce your sugar intake to manage Parkinson’s symptoms. Eat too much protein. Consuming lots of beef, fish, or cheese may affect the effectiveness of certain Parkinson’s medications.

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What Is The Difference Between Parkinsonism Vs Parkinsons Disease

What is the difference between Parkinsonism vs Parkinsons disease? In simple terms, Parkinsons is a disease whereas Parkinsonism is a range of symptoms that are usually seen in patients with Parkinsons disease, but sometimes occurring as a result of other neurodegenerative disorders.

Unless you are a medical professional, there might appear to be very little difference between Parkinsons disease and Parkinsonism.

On the surface, they appear to be exactly the same condition: both are characterized by tremors, stiffness, balance issues, and slowness of movement, but this is where the similarities end.

Whereas Parkinsonism encompasses the four main movement problems seen in patients suffering from Parkinsons disease, Parkinsons disease itself is a progressive and highly degenerative disorder that causes many other symptoms as well as those seen in Parkinsonism.

Human Fetal Tissue As A Source Of Progenitor Cells

Difference Between Parkinsonâs and Huntingtonâs Disease

The first study demonstrating that dopaminergic neurons could be replaced using fetal tissue was performed using 6-hydroxydopamine -lesioned rats that were implanted with DA-rich ventral mesencephalic tissue from rat fetuses . These studies were followed by the generation of the first non-human primates PD model: monkeys lesioned with 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine . This model manifested several of the patients symptoms, and transplanting primate fetal mesencephalic tissue into their striatum showed to alleviate these symptoms . These studies set foot for the first PD cell replacement therapy in humans. These clinical trials were performed using dopaminergic neuron precursors from human fetal tissue, which were transplanted into the striatum of PD patients . Transplanted tissue presented no negative effects at the transplantation site, was functional and survived in the transplanted brain region, but clinical benefits were variable .

Table 3. Common animal models of Parkinsons Disease.

Table 4. Common animal models of Huntingtons disease.

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Mechanism Of Injury / Pathological Process

The most obvious neuropathology in HD occurs within the neostriatum , comprising gross atrophy of the caudate nucleus and putamen, accompanied by selective neuronal loss and astrogliosis . Marked neuronal loss also is seen in deep layers of the cerebral cortex. Other regions, including the globus pallidus, thalamus, subthalamic nucleus, substantia nigra, and cerebellum, show varying degrees of atrophy depending on the stage of the disease.

The Differences Between Alzheimer’s And Parkinson’s

16 October, 2020

Do you know the differences between Alzheimers and Parkinsons? First of all, we must say that both diseases constitute two of the causes of dementia. Now, lets be a bit more specific. According to data from the WHO , dementia due to Alzheimers disease represents 60-70% of all cases of dementia in the world.

However, its important to keep in mind that theyre very different diseases. Additionally, we must make clear that having either condition doesnt always lead to the development of dementia . In this sense, we know that between 20-60% of people with Parkinsons disease end up developing dementia.

Buter et al. conducted a study that was published in the journal Neurology. It was conducted with 233 patients with Parkinsons disease. The researchers were able to observe that about 60% of them developed Parkinsons dementia in a period of 12 years.

So whats dementia? It refers to the set of symptoms that arise as a consequence of neurological damage or disease. These symptoms involve the loss or weakening of the mental faculties and mainly affect three different areas: cognitive , behavioral , and personality .

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Activation Pattern In Control Subjects

The pattern of brain activation induced by unilateral high-frequency passive vibratory stimulation in our control cohort is in keeping with previous PET data on elementary somatosensory function, as reviewed recently by Paulesu and colleagues . Our study confirms that this rather crude sensory stimulus produces strong activation in cortical areas S1 and S2. The pattern of normalized group rCBF increases in our study was markedly lateralized to the contralateral hemisphere, similar to previous reports . Transcallosal connections have, nevertheless, been demonstrated in posterior S1 , adjoining parietal cortex and secondary sensory cortical areas and, likewise, previous PET and functional MRI experiments have provided evidence for bilateral sensory cortical processing in humans. However, it remains an issue of further inquiry with higher temporal resolution imaging modalities, how ipsilateral sensory area recruitment is affected by habituation and/or other task-related issues. For instance, evoked potential recordings in cats indicate that habituation occurs more rapidly in S2 compared with S1 areas .

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