Inside Sources: Finding a cure for Huntington’s Disease

May 19, 2020, 6:02 PM | Updated: May 20, 2020, 3:22 pm
Huntington's Disease...
Genetic research abstract - Huntington's disease

SALT LAKE CITY — While the global coronavirus pandemic has put lives everywhere on hold, a Utah woman is pressing forward to find a cure for her terminal disease.

Huntington’s Disease is a fatal genetic disorder that causes the progressive breakdown of brain nerve cells. It deteriorates a person’s physical and mental abilities usually during their prime working years and has no cure.

May is Huntington’s Disease Awareness Month.

There are about 41,000 symptomatic Americans today and more than 200,000 at-risk of inheriting the disease.

Morgan Pratt, the Utah chapter president for the Huntington’s Disease Society of America, joins Boyd Matheson on Inside Sources to discuss the terminal disease and how listeners can help by donating. 

While Pratt is diagnosed with the disease, and while fighting for her life, she is also fighting for a cure.

Overview of Huntington’s Disease

“Tell us just a little bit about [Huntington’s Disease]?” Boyd asked.

“I was diagnosed in 2018. As you lose your movement abilities, you also lose your personality. A lot of people slowly turn into vegetables. . . Their personality changes so much, you don’t recognize the person as they age,” Pratt said. “It’s really a horrible disease. There is often  a lot of intergenerational domestic violence and that’s because of the disease altering your behavior.”

“Part of what you’re doing is making sure people become aware of this,” Boyd said. “A lot of organizations have had to cancel events or fundraising activities. You’re still working with your fellow Huntington Disease folks here in state of Utah. How can people get involved?”

Pratt said the best way to become involved or to donate is to go to the website or the Utah chapter’s Facebook page.

“We actually have a lot of events coming up later in the year that we’d still like to host. Whether that’s a virtual event or not, we don’t know,” Pratt said.

Finding a cure

“Morgan, you’re one of the great champions of this, with incredible passion and determination. I know you’ve been involved in clinical trials and other things to move it all forward. Give us a quick snapshot. Where are things right now?” Boyd asked.

“Now is the time that scientists are on the cusp of finding a cure,” Pratt said. “We just need to get enough donations and enough research money to those scientists so they are able to find a cure. 

“Within the next 10 or 15 years, we will hopefully be able to cure this horrible disease,” she said. “We will be able to alleviate a lot of the horrible symptoms that really hollow out people.”

Pratt said she just finished an 18-month-long clinical trial for Huntington’s Disease.

“I was very lucky to be part of that. We can’t do that research without your donations,” Pratt said. 

She urged listeners to visit the website and donate to help find a cure. 


Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson can be heard weekdays from 11:00 a.m to 12:00 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app.

Today’s Top Stories


WWE Essential...
Zoe Sottile, CNN

John Cena breaks Make-A-Wish record after granting 650 wishes

Actor, wrestling legend, and perpetual meme subject John Cena has completed a new accomplishment: breaking the world record for most wishes granted through the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
1 day ago
Utah Republicans are looking to ban transgender surgeries and other hormone-based care....
Mark Jones

Utah to receive additional $4.9 million from FEMA in response to COVID-19

FEMA has announced Utah will receive an additional $4.9 million to help with the housing costs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
2 days ago
BYU tracking...
Simone Seikaly

BYU researchers learn importance of tracking, in fitness and other goals

BYU researchers found that tracking an activity helps to increase (or decrease) that activity.
4 days ago
Adam Small

National health panel recommends anxiety screenings for adults under 65

Anxiety screenings were recommended for adults 19 to 64 by the task force to help combat the under-detection of anxiety disorders.
5 days ago
The little league player that was critically injured after falling off a  bunk bed is now fighting ...
Randall Jeppesen and Mark Jones

Easton Oliverson family files lawsuit against LLBB and bunk bed makers

A lawsuit has been filed by the family of Easton Oliverson against Little League Baseball and the makers of the bunk beds he fell off and injured his head just prior to the Little League World Series.
6 days ago
University of Utah Health...
Lindsay Aerts

U of U Health says contraception need higher for both women and men in the wake of Roe decision

University of Utah Heath says demand for birth control is up and they have a new clinic hoping to get women faster access.
6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Inside Sources: Finding a cure for Huntington’s Disease