Reporter’s Files: Venezuela

The town with the world’s highest incidence of Huntington’s Disease.

I went to this remote town with an American researcher who localized the Huntington’s Disease gene after 22 years of studying this population, nearly half of which has HD. Long isolated and neglected due to stigma, the town has fallen victim to inbreeding, giving its residents the world’s only incidence of double-dose HD genes, meaning offspring stand a 75% chance of inheriting the fatal disease from both parents. It was incredibly sad. My story follows: