Amyloidosis is characterized by stiffness and an inability to function in certain organs. Because of the danger this presents, it is important that doctors are able to monitor the progression of the disease. A new technology created by Aurora Bio, Inc has made it possible for doctors to see organ involvement, asymptomatic organs, and the progression of damage done to affected organs. This technology also allows doctors to evaluate how treatment is working and if the method of treatment needs to be changed in any way. This systematic imaging tracer will allow research, knowledge, and treatment of amyloidosis to improve.
Amyloidosis is characterized by stiffness and issues with the function of certain organs. There are six types of this condition, including primary, secondary, familial, dialysis-related, senile systemic, and organ-specific. Different organs can also be affected depending on who has the disease, but the most commonly impacted organs are the heart, kidneys, liver, spleen, nervous system, and digestive tract.
This disease is caused by a build up of amyloid in the organs. Amyloid is an abnormal protein produced by bone marrow. It has the potential to affect any organ. The different types also have different causes. For example, secondary amyloidosis occurs with other inflammatory or chronic infectious diseases like inflammatory bowel disease. The familial version of this disease happens through the inheritance of one of many possible abnormal genes. Dialysis-related amyloidosis tends to affect those who are on long-term dialysis. It deposits proteins in the joints and tendons, which leads to pain and stiffness.
There are also certain risk factors that can lead to the development of amyloidosis. Age is one, as the majority of people with this disease are in their 60s. Race is another; people of African descent have a higher likelihood of carrying one of the genes responsible for this disease. Men also have a higher chance of developing this condition. Kidney dialysis, a family history of amyloidosis, and other diseases also heighten the risk.
Symptoms of this disease vary, as they are dependent on the organs affected. One may not experience these symptoms until they are advanced. They include swelling in the ankles and legs, severe fatigue and weakness, shortness of breath, tingling in the hands and feet, numbness, diarrhea, unintentional weight loss, an enlarged tongue, difficulty swallowing, an irregular heartbeat, and changes in the skin. It is important that one sees a doctor if these symptoms are present.
While there is no cure for this disease, there are treatments that can help to manage symptoms and reduce the production of amyloid. It is important that people with this disease do seek treatment, as complications include severe and permanent damage to the kidneys, heart, and nervous system.
Aurora Bio is very excited about the results of their clinical trial, which evaluated AUR01. Aur01 is a systematic imaging tracer, meant to track the involvement of organs in amyloidosis. Researchers want to use this technology to be able to trace the progression of amyloid in the organs that are affected, as well as the organs that are asymptomatic. This development will allow doctors to detect early signs and plan treatment accordingly. The clinical trial found that AUR01 was able to assess the heart, kidneys, spleen, liver, pancreas, bone marrow, lung, pituitary, choroid plexus, and adrenal glands. Aurora Bio also plans to develop more technology to better the lives and treatment options for those with amyloidosis.
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