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Aurora magazine

An app against Huntington's disease

Researchers at Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) have developed an app to facilitate early diagnosis of Huntington's disease. The application helps to identify the first symptoms of the disease, through a series of tests that assess the cognitive and physical conditions. If the tests are successful, he obviously invites you to contact a doctor to confirm or deny the results.

Huntington's disease causes progressive brain damage, which causes:

  • uncontrolled movements;
  • emotional problems;
  • loss of cognitive abilities.

Usually the disease occurs in adulthood, around 30-40 years. Sufferers have a life expectancy of up to 20 years, after the first symptoms appear. However, there is also a less common form, which occurs at a young age.

The first symptoms of Huntington's tend to go unnoticed. These include irritability, depression, small involuntary jerks, lack of coordination, difficulty in learning new things and making decisions. They can be mistaken for stress, perhaps due to a difficult period.

The app serves to make a first diagnosis when there are almost no symptoms. Those at risk can download it and use it periodically to assess cognitive and motor skills. In this way it is easier to have an early diagnosis and intervene immediately, sometimes gaining 16 years of life.

The same principle is also applicable to other neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's and dementia. Pre-diagnosis tools of this kind have existed for some time, but only on paper. This is the first time scientists have put everything on an application that anyone can download.