Amyloidosis – Can you help relieve the pressure?

Have you ever heard of amyloidosis? Don’t worry, I hadn’t either! The good news is you don’t have to be an expert on this rare and dangerous disease to help lighten the load of its victims.

Amyloidosis is a condition which causes an excessive build-up of proteins in the blood. These proteins form clusters called ‘amyloids’, which are deposited around the sufferer’s body, putting undue pressure on the system where they land. Amyloids most often affect the body’s digestive system, central nervous system and the circulatory system.

Needless to say, putting stress on these essential functions has very serious repercussions. From the onset of symptoms, the life expectancy of an amyloidosis patient is 9-11 years. This shocking figure is worsened by the fact that this condition has a slow onset, and is often not diagnosed immediately.

Early symptoms of this condition include carpal tunnel syndrome, which is relatively commonplace and easily managed. But as amyloids progress through the body, they can go on to cause a loss of sensation, glaucoma, seizures, dementia and progressive heart failure. It can also put such excessive strain on digestive functions that patients suffer a complete loss of appetite and die from malnutrition.

As I’ve mentioned, this disease is rare, and it is also genetically transmitted; if you have no family history of the disorder, you are very unlikely to suffer from amyloidosis yourself. But for those who do have a genetic predisposition, this condition is very real, and very scary.

The good news is recent clinical trials have brought to light new drugs which slow the progress of amyloids. But more needs to be done to end this terminal disease.

At Covance, trials of a new potential treatment for amyloidosis are taking place. To date, it has been tested on several groups of healthy volunteers and hasn’t been found to have any serious side effects. But to ensure that this is suitable for every amyloidosis patient, we now wish to trial this new medicine on volunteers with a bodyweight between 50 and 60kg. As we don’t yet know what the effects may be on unborn children, we specifically need women who are post-menopausal or surgically sterile for this round of testing.

We are also looking for some men for the trial as well. They need to meet the bodyweight requirement by being between 50 and 60kg as well. If You know anyone who might fit the bill, perhaps you could pass this message along to them and ask them to get in touch.

Could you help us to help the victims of amyloidosis?

If you’d like more information on this study, please take a look at this link for more details, or register for clinical trials by calling 01133 945 200.

If you’d like to know more about amyloidosis, click here for information and links to support groups

(image courtesy: Nephron – Wikimedia)

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