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Thursday, June 20, 2013
It`s A Stupid Question, but Sincere
I have a boyfriend (who I might marry). His dad died of HD. He has not been tested (fear I am sure). My boyfriend told me that since he inherited his large body type (overweight) and fat square feet from his mother he is more likely not to have the HD gene. Something about genetics. He said he researched this, but I don`t know if there is any truth to what he is saying. Can you help me with this question?
There are no stupid questions. Most people at risk for HD (those individuals who have one parent with HD) choose NOT to get tested for a variety of reasons. Less than 20% of individuals at risk for HD choose to get tested before they start showing symptoms. There are many reasons for this. We recommend that anyone considering getting tested see a genetic counselor with experience in HD. It is important to understand all the pros and cons of getting tested.
The fact that your friend looks more like his mother than his HD-affected father does not affect his likelihood of getting HD. His chance of developing the disorder is still 50%.
Sandra K Kostyk, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Neuroscience
Clinical Assistant Professor of Neurology
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University