Juvenile-Onset Huntington's Disease in Peru: A Case Series of 32 Patients

Anastasia Vishnevetsky, Mario Cornejo-Olivas, Elison Sarapura-Castro, Miguel Inca-Martinez, Danielle Rabinowitz, Karina Milla-Neyra, Pilar Mazzetti, Thomas Bird

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Juvenile-onset Huntington's Disease (JoHD) or Huntington's disease (HD) with age of onset ≤20 years, is a rare clinical entity that often differs phenotypically from adult HD and represents only 1–15% of total HD cases. Objective: To characterize the genetic and clinical characteristics of 32 JoHD patients seen in a Peruvian Neurogenetics clinic from 2000–2018. Methods: This study is a retrospective clinical and genetic review. The clinical database in Lima, Peru was searched for HD patients seen in clinic between 2000 and 2018. Inclusion criteria were: (1) genetically confirmed disease; and (2) HD age of onset ≤20 years, according to the documented medical history. Results: Among 475 patients with genetically confirmed HD in the database, 32 patients (6.7%) had symptom onset at ≤20 years. Among JoHD patients with a known transmitting parent (30 of 32), paternal transmission accounted for 77% of cases. Anticipation was higher with paternal transmission compared to maternal transmission (27.5 ± 11.5 vs. 11.3 ± 7.1 years). Overall expanded CAG repeat length ranged from 44 to 110, with a mean length of 65.6 ± 15.4, and 14 (44%) cases had repeat length under 60. Of the 32 patients included in the study, 25 had detailed clinical symptomatology available, and many patients had unique clinical features such as prominent sleep disturbance (60% of patients), or parkinsonism (73%). Conclusions: This large case series of JoHD patients characterizes the Peruvian JoHD population, reports on unique familial relationships in JoHD, and highlights the varied symptomatic presentation of this rare disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-247
Number of pages10
JournalMovement Disorders Clinical Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • Peru
  • ataxia
  • chorea
  • juvenile Huntington's disease
  • juvenile-onset Huntington's disease


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