Other Names for this Disease
- Uveomenigitic syndrome
- VKH disease
- VKH syndrome
- Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada syndrome
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Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada disease (VKH disease) is a condition that involves chronic inflammation of melanocytes, which are specialized cells that produce a pigment called melanin. Melanin is the substance that gives skin, hair, and eyes their color. Melanin is also found in the retina, where it plays a role in normal vision. People with VKH disease usually develop vision and hearing disturbances first, followed by signs of skin problems. The most common symptoms include headaches, panuveitis, vitiligo, hair loss (alopecia), and inner ear disturbances. Neurological symptoms may also occur. The exact cause of VKH disease is not well understood, but research suggests it is an autoimmune disease. It is more common in people with darker skin pigmentation including Asian, Middle Eastern, Hispanic, and Native American populations.
Last updated: 1/8/2015
- Choczaj-Kukula A.. Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada Syndrome. Emedicine. July 15, 2009; http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1118177-overview. Accessed 10/28/2010.
- Fang W, Yang P.. Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada. Current Eye Research. May, 2008; Accessed 10/28/2010.
- Olivier Calvetti, Caroline Laurent-Coriat, Michel Paques. VOGT-KOYANAGI-HARADA DISEASE. Orphanet. March, 2009; Accessed 1/12/2015.
- The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) is a federation of more than 130 nonprofit voluntary health organizations serving people with rare disorders. Click on the link to view information on this topic.
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- PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada disease. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.