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SportAstros' Smith hopes to help end Huntington's disease through IVF foundation

19:06  11 february  2019
19:06  11 february  2019 Source:

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Huntington ' s disease (HD), also known as Huntington ' s chorea, is an inherited disorder that results in death of brain cells. The earliest symptoms are often subtle problems with mood or mental abilities.

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Astros' Smith hopes to help end Huntington's disease through IVF foundation© Provided by Oath Inc. Astros reliever Joe Smith and his wife, Allie LaForce, are hoping to stamp out Huntington’s disease from their family with IVF. (Getty Images)

Astros reliever Joe Smith has long dreamed of starting a family with his wife of four years, Allie LaForce, who is a basketball reporter for TNT. Only one thing has stopped them: Huntington’s disease.

Smith has seen his maternal grandmother live and die with the neurodegenerative disorder, and his mother, Lee, was diagnosed with it in 2012. Since Huntington’s is a hereditary disease, Smith has a 50-50 chance of having it himself and possibly passing it on to his children.

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A less common form of Huntington disease known as the juvenile form begins in childhood or adolescence. Juvenile Huntington disease tends to progress more quickly than the adult-onset form; affected individuals usually live 10 to 15 years after signs and symptoms appear.

Huntington ' s disease is, to date, incurable. Huntington ' s disease attacks nerve cells gradually over time. The condition effects around 1 in 10,000 Don’t shy away from the opportunity to help raise money for our organization to fulfill its mission. Keep your eyes and ears open for new fundraising

But Smith and LaForce are optimistic because of medical innovation. Using pre-implantation genetic diagnosis in conjunction with in vitro fertilization (PGD-IVF), the couple will be able to implant a healthy embryo that has been tested to not carry the Huntington’s gene. And through their foundation, HelpCureHD, they have raised over a million dollars to share this miracle of modern science with as many families as possible.

Smith and LaForce went on the “Today Show” on Monday morning to talk about their story, while the New York Post’s Kirsten Fleming also did extensive reporting on it as well. Although there is no known cure for Huntington’s, they hope to stop the spread of this disease through PGD-IVF.

Huntington’s affects 30,000 people in the United States with another 200,000 potentially at risk. It is often described as similar to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s and is known to strike between ages 30 and 50, although Smith, 34, has not himself been tested because he doesn’t want to deal with the potential depression that could come with that reality.

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Huntington ’ s Disease Symptoms – Communication Issues. Sexual Problems in Huntington ’ s I want to be there for her, but she wants me to live my life,” he said. “We really hope everyone had an Smith and his wife founded Help Cure HD, a foundation to help people rid their lineage of the

The International Huntington Association is an umbrella organization formed by Huntington ’ s disease (HD) associations all over the world. We represent more than 250.000 individual members. South and North-America as well as China, Australia are members of the International Huntington Association.

But to eliminate virtually any chance of passing on the gene, Smith and LaForce are opting for PGD-IVF this spring. They are not going to be picking anything cosmetic about their child — hair color, eye color, height, weight — just the chance of passing on the deadly disease.

“The biggest reason is because with Huntington’s disease specifically, if you have children without it, it’s gone from the family line forever,” LaForce said on the Today Show. “It’s a miracle. It’s a version of the cure. If everyone were to do this to have a child, we could eliminate the disease.”

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Unfortunately, PGD-IVF is not an option for many families, since insurance covers almost none of the costs related to the procedure. Smith and LaForce are expecting to pay at least $35,000 for the procedure, which they see as worth it for the well-being of their child.

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Huntington ’ s disease is an inherited disease that causes the progressive dying off, or degeneration These procedures are available only at some specialized IVF clinics and require extensive counseling, preparation, and Back to Huntington ' s Disease Information Page. See a list of all NINDS Disorders .

Huntington ' s disease is an inherited (genetic) condition that affects the brain and nervous system. Genetic testing helps to diagnose Huntington ' s disease . At present there is no cure for Huntington ' s disease . Treatment is aimed at trying to control symptoms as much as possible when they develop.

Through their foundation, they help cover other families’ costs, and the Cleveland Clinic and Houston Fertility Institute have offered discounts to prospective parents referred to the hospitals by HelpCureHD.

There are certainly ethical gray areas surrounding the procedure as some question the idea of “playing God,” but Smith and LaForce, both of whom are religious, do not see this targeted plan as an issue. It’s something that has been important to their family for a long time.

“Last week, Lee told me she’s worried about her grandkids having Huntington’s,” LaForce said earlier this month, via the New York Post. “She was getting emotional. She shouldn’t have it but there’s an element of guilt. I said, ‘I promise our children won’t have HD.’ I wanted to give her as much comfort as I could. I told her that she has to hang on to meet her grandchild, who will be HD-free.”

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Medications are available to help manage the symptoms of Huntington ' s disease , but treatments can't prevent the physical, mental and behavioral decline Symptoms By Mayo Clinic staf Huntington ' s disease usually causes movement, cognitive and psychiatric disorders with a wide spectrum of signs

Huntington ’ s Disease (HD) is considered to be one of the most devastating mental illnesses. More research is being done about this condition with the hope that a cure for it will soon be found . Physical Activity. Working out on a regular basis will help to slow down the progression of this disease .

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Astros' Smith hopes to help end Huntington's disease through IVF foundation

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