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Pervez Musharraf and Amyloidosis

Apr 28, 2023

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What is Amyloidosis?

What are the common types of Amyloidosis?

Here are the most common types of Amyloidosis:

What are the symptoms of Amyloidosis? 

What causes Amyloidosis?

How is Amyloidosis diagnosed?

What is a treatment for Amyloidosis?

Can Amyloidosis be prevented?

Pervez Musharraf and Amyloidosis

Former President of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf, passed away at the American Hospital in Dubai at the age of 79 years. He has been battling Amyloidosis since March 2016. 

Amyloidosis is a rare disease that affects the connective tissues and organs of a patient. Let’s learn more about this condition further in the blog. 

What is Amyloidosis?

Amyloidosis is one of the rare disorders where the proteins in the body mutate and turn into misshapen clumps that gather on the organs and tissues.

It can either be localized to a single area or widespread, which is called systemic Amyloidosis. Widespread or systemic is the most common form of Amyloidosis. 

This condition cannot be cured, but its symptoms can be slowed down. 

Let’s learn more about this rare condition in detail - including its symptoms, causes, diagnosis and treatment for your NEET SS preparation

What are the common types of Amyloidosis?

Systemic Amyloidosis is the most common form of Amyloidosis. It refers to abnormal protein deposits throughout the body, and Amyloidosis is categorized by the specific type of protein affected. 

Here are the most common types of Amyloidosis:

AL Amyloidosis

In this type, the plasma cells overproduce abnormal light chains that form amyloid fibrils and accumulate in organs. It usually affects the heart, kidneys, liver, and nerves.

AA Amyloidosis

In this type, high levels of serum A protein may result from prolonged abnormal inflammation in the body. It most commonly affects the kidneys, liver, and spleen.

Amyloid transthyretin protein or TRR protein (ATTR)

ATTR is an inherited disorder where fibrils from broken transthyretin protein can affect your heart and/or nerves. 

Also read: Medical News Bulletin Edition 15

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What are the symptoms of Amyloidosis? 

The symptoms of Amyloidosis vary based on the specific types of proteins and where their fibrils land. For example, if we are talking about cardiac Amyloidosis, the patient might experience fainting, shortness of breath or weakness that might signal abnormal heart rhythms. 

The general symptoms of Amyloidosis include the following:

  • Severe fatigue and weakness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Numbness, tingling, or pain in the hands or feet
  • Swelling of the ankles and legs
  • Diarrhoea, possibly with blood or constipation
  • An enlarged tongue
  • Unexplained weight loss

What causes Amyloidosis?

Healthy people have normal light chain proteins in their blood. These are part of their natural antibody proteins and help protect the body from infection. 

As already discussed, Amyloidosis occurs when proteins in the body become clumps of misshaped proteins which then land on specific organs and tissues within the body. 

As of now, researchers have identified more than 50 different types of amyloid proteins and the type of Amyloidosis is determined by the type of protein deposit. In short, the causes for different types of Amyloidosis will be different. 

For example, in the case of AL Amyloidosis, which is the most common type, it is caused by an abnormality in the plasma cells found in the bone marrow. These abnormal plasma cells produce abnormal forms of light chain proteins. These then enter the bloodstream and can form amyloid deposits. 

In addition, there are also many underlying factors that cause or lead to Amyloidosis. For example, around 12% to 15% of people who develop AL condition are found to also have multiple myeloma, a blood disorder called.

Multiple myeloma occurs when abnormal plasma cells develop in the bone marrow and multiply uncontrollably.

Also read: Selecting a branch for SS and residency subject.

How is Amyloidosis diagnosed?

Many tests can be used to diagnose Amyloidosis, but it is a practice to use bone marrow aspiration and bone marrow biopsy to identify the mutated protein causing the specific type of Amyloidosis. 

Blood tests to test for abnormal protein levels in your blood.

Urine tests to test for abnormal protein levels

CT scan to check damage to affected organs.

Echocardiogram to check the heart condition.

What is a treatment for Amyloidosis?

Amyloidosis can be treated by treating symptoms and organ damage and by looking at the underlying cause. 

Here’s an example. Since abnormal plasma cells cause AL Amyloidosis, chemotherapy is used to destroy the abnormal plasma cells. 

Here are the other common types of treatments that are used:

  • Targeted therapy includes angiogenesis inhibitors, monoclonal antibody therapy, and proteasome inhibitors.
  • Bone marrow or stem cell transplantation. 
  • Organ transplantation for certain hereditary Amyloidosis. 

Can Amyloidosis be prevented?

Unfortunately, no. Amyloidosis is a condition that cannot be prevented or cured. Researchers have identified several risk factors, but none of them can be controlled to prevent the disease from occurring. 

And that is everything you need to know about Amyloidosis. 

Before we conclude, did you know that the South Indian actress Mamta Mohandas is a warrior when it comes to fighting for her health? She has battled with cancer, Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and, most recently, Vitiligo. You can read more about Vitiligo by clicking on the link. 

Keep following our blog for exciting posts like Pervez Musharraf and Amyloidosis, preparation tips, exam strategies and more. 

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Auther Details

Arindam Goswami

Arindam is a Content Marketer who looks after the Medical Super Specialty segment, specifically the NEET SS category, at PrepLadder. He aims to help aspirants crack exams and realize their dreams through his work.

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