Huntington's Disease was originally diagnosed and named in 1872 by Dr. George Huntington of East Hampton, Long Island. Traced back to three men from England who came to America in 1693, it was known to be hereditary. Among Dr. Huntington's observations was a particular hopeful note: "If by any chance the children go through life without it, the thread is broken and the
grandchildren and the great-grandchildren of the original shakers may rest assured that they are free from the disease."
Woody Guthrie's wife, Marjorie, who had been a dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company for many years, was Determined to find a cure for Huntington's disease. In 1967, following Woody's passing, she founded the Committee to Combat Huntington's Disease. Renamed the Huntington's Disease Society of America, HDSA is presently the premier nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of everyone affected by Huntington's disease. From community services and education to advocacy and research, HDSA is the world's leader in providing help for today and hope for tomorrow for people with Huntington's disease and their families. Thirty years later Marjorie Guthrie and her family were honored for their ongoing contributions to researching the still-incurable illness.
For more information please visit www.HDSA.org
At the time of the Hollywood Bowl concert, Dr. Seymour Wexler headed the west coast branch of CCHD, who helped organize and publicize the Hollywood Bowl concert. In 1983, Dr. Wexler founded the Hereditary Disease Foundation. The Foundation is the first to use DNA markers to discover the neighborhood of the Huntington's disease gene. This breakthrough helped launch the Human Genome Project.
Following this discovery, the Hereditary Disease Foundation pioneered many technologies for mapping and finding genes. A decade later they identified the specific Huntington's disease gene, its defect, and the protein that encodes it, unlocking critical knowledge needed to find the cure.
The Hereditary Disease Foundation focuses on curing Huntington's disease, not only because of its devastating consequences to individuals and families with the disease, but because it is a model for curing other brain disorders.
For more information please visit www.HDFoundation.org