New Hope for Those Suffering From Behcet’s

While common in much of the rest of the world, Behcet’s syndrome is considered relatively rare in the United States. That offers little relief for those in the U.S. who are all too familiar with the host of symptoms associated with the disease.

Current research has provided a number of new approaches that offer the hope of remission to those suffering from Behcet’s syndrome.

Interferons

Interferons belong to a family of glycoproteins that have antiviral, antitumor, and immunomodulatory properties. It has been proven that interferons are effective in treating Behcet’s, particularly in patients with severe manifestations. If Behcet’s is affecting your eyesight, for example, be sure and let your physician know. They will tell you that interferons show the best results in ocular problems related to Behcet’s.

There can be adverse reactions to any interferon, but the good news is that those effects depend on dosage and tend to diminish over a brief  time.

Alpha inhibitors

One of the causes for the symptoms of Behcet’s syndrome is tumor necrosis factor (TNF), which often lessens when an anti-TNF or alpha inhibitor is administered. Therapeutic studies show that drugs like Infliximab and Etanercept are highly effective at inducing short-term remission in most manifestations of Behcet’s. Ocular inflammation can be checked in as little as 24 hours.

Be aware that alpha inhibitors are not a cure, and few people remain in remission more than 12 months. However, when the previous option might have been little or no relief, both Infliximab and Etanercept are as close to miracle drugs as you can get.

Tolerance Induction

In the past, tolerance induction has been primarily used for the treatment for various autoimmune diseases, but is now being tested as a treatment for the Behcet’s syndrome.

Conventional therapeutic approaches took a shotgun approach at suppressing leukocytes (anti-inflammatory) and lymphocytes (immunosuppressive). This therapy targets the specific antigens causing ocular complications without affecting your entire immune system. Translation: You don’t have to feel like crap to see better.

Immunoablation

Great strides in the use of stem cell therapy have been made in treating a wide array of autoimmune diseases, and Behcet’s is no exception. For now, this treatment is reserved for case studies, but its wide-spread use is not that far away.

Combination Therapies

If you suffer from Behcet’s Syndrome, you are probably well acquainted with one of the following drugs or treatments:

  • Chlorambucil
  • Cyclophosphamid
  • Azathioprine
  • Cyclosporine
  • Colchicine
  • Corticosteroid therapy

The newest approach is actually a combination of two or more tried and true therapies. There is no one combination therapy that is safe or indicated for every Behcet’s sufferer. Instead, specialists have learned to tailor a treatment regimen that best fits each individual patient.


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