A blog about the grief after losing a child to Niemann Pick, Type C, a rare disease, and how I'm moving forward with my life.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Rare Disease 20 - Atypical Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome

From Wikipedia:

Atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS) is a very rare, life-threatening, progressive disease that frequently has a genetic component. In most cases it is caused by chronic, uncontrolled activation of the complement system, a branch of the body’s immune system that destroys and removes foreign particles. The disease affects both children and adults and is characterized by systemic thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA), the formation of blood clots in small blood vessels throughout the body, which can lead to stroke, heart attack, kidney failure, and death. The complement system activation may be due to mutations in the complement regulatory proteins (factor H, factor I, or membrane cofactor protein), or is occasionally due to acquired neutralizing autoantibody inhibitors of these complement system components, for example anti–factor H antibodies. Despite the use of supportive care, historically an estimated 33-40% of patients died or developed end-stage renal disease (ESRD) with the first clinical bout of aHUS. Including subsequent relapses, a total approximately two-thirds (65%) of patients died, required dialysis, or had permanent renal damage within the first year after diagnosis despite plasma exchange or plasma infusion (PE/PI).

 Here is one video of one child from the video page of The Foundation for Children with Atypical HUS:

aHUS is one of the rare diseases that has a treatment that was approved in 2011 for the treatment of both adults and children.

aHUS is just one of 7,000 rare diseases, most without cures and very few treatments.  Please see the rare disease facts at GlobalGenes.org and feel free to share this post with anyone and everyone.

Rare Disease Day is February 28, 2013.


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