Cleveland Clinic doctor and advocate discuss generational impact of Huntington’s Disease

Close-up shot of microscope at laboratory. [Konstantin Kolosov/Shutterstock]
Close-up shot of microscope at laboratory. [Konstantin Kolosov/Shutterstock]
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The DNA that we inherit from our mothers and fathers provides a blueprint for our physical traits. Our health can also be impacted by our heredity.

Huntington’s Disease is a rare, progressive brain disease that is passed down from parents to child. If a parent has the gene for Huntington’s Disease, there is a 50/50 chance that a child will have the disease.

According to the Huntington Disease Society of America there are approximately 41-thousand symptomatic people living with Huntington’s Disease in the United States and another 200-thousand at risk for inheriting it.

The Society says the illness can be described as having Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and ALS simultaneously.

The disease progresses over time and symptoms generally appear in midlife—between the ages of 30 and 50. The disease impacts a person physically and mentally.  Physical symptoms can first appear as clumsiness, loss of balance, or involuntary movements known as chorea (kuh-ree-uh).  Symptoms progressively worsen over time.    There is no cure.

Later in the hour, the United State Supreme Court wrapped up its history-making session at the end of June.  That session saw a number of major opinions including the decision in Dobbs versus Jackson Women’s Health Organization that overturned Roe versus Wade.

The court is beginning to accept cases for its next session—which begins in October.  Already there is a case on the docket that is raising the concerns of legal scholars and voting rights activists. 

The court has agreed to hear arguments in Moore versus Harper.  It is a case out of North Carolina that centers on new congressional district maps implemented for North Carolina.  A court-drawn map has been put in place there after a state court ruled the ones drawn by lawmakers violated North Carolina’s constitution because they were gerrymandered to favor Republicans.

State lawmakers in North Carolina, however, say the “independent state legislature theory” in the United States Constitution gives legislature sole power to regulate federal elections and without oversight from state courts.

So what is the independent state legislature theory?

Statehouse News Bureau Editor Andy Chow has been digging into that and joins us.

We end the hour with an interview with Northeast Ohio native, Ron Hill, on how he approaches his work as an editorial cartoonist and illustrator.

For More Information:

Huntington's Disease Society of America Northeast Ohio Chapter web site: Find events, resources, how to help


Jesse Lis, President, Northeast Ohio Chapter, Huntington's Disease Society of America  
Adam Margolius, MD, Co-Director for the Huntington's Disease Center of Excellence,  Cleveland Clinic 
Andy Chow, Statehouse News Bureau News Editor, Ohio Public Radio/TV  
Ron Hill, Editorial Cartoonist, Illustrator 

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