The PI Low Down: What You Need to Know

In reading about various diseases, I sometimes find that the content reads like alphabet soup. Sometimes, it’s helpful to simplify and clarify. To get down to the basics.

April is National Primary Immunodeficiency (PI) Awareness Month. Here are four things you should know about PI, according to Avella Specialty Pharmacy’s blog.

  1. Many forms, one result.

The Avella blog states PI diseases have many causes and reveal themselves in many forms. In fact, the PI disease group includes more than 300 disorders, according to the Immune Deficiency Foundation. When PI turns severe, though, the result is trouble fighting even the smallest of infections. You can see how this leads to bigger health issues.

  1. HSCT for the win!

Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is curing a growing range of PI diseases, according to the Avella blog. This treatment has evolved to use stem cells found in blood from the umbilical cord.

  1. Hurdles found in HSCT
    You can do it! Source:

No surgery needed when it comes to HSCT process—think blood transfusion. But the process is far from foolproof. For one, the body might reject the donated stem cells. On the other hand, T-cells from the donated blood might attack the body’s immune cells. Drug therapy is one procedure to combat these complications.

  1. The IG alternative

Immunoglobulin therapy can also treat PI. The Avella blog described this treatment as extracting antibodies from the plasma of thousands of donors and injecting these antibodies into the patient. Why thousands of donors? To capture as wide a range of antibodies as possible. The IG can be administered both intravenously and subcutaneously.

These are just a few facts about PI diseases and, if you want to know more, April is the perfect month to both be more aware and to spread awareness.

The Immune Deficiency Foundation offers some great ways to spread awareness here. Whatever your style, there’s something for you: from printing out an awareness poster to using social media.

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