|Signs and Symptoms||Approximate number of patients (when available)|
|Abnormality of temperature regulation||90%|
|Nausea and vomiting||90%|
|Abnormal blistering of the skin||50%|
|Abnormal pyramidal signs||7.5%|
|Abnormality of the aortic valve||7.5%|
|Abnormality of the endocardium||7.5%|
|Abnormality of the mitral valve||7.5%|
|Abnormality of the myocardium||7.5%|
|Abnormality of the pericardium||7.5%|
|Abnormality of the pleura||7.5%|
|Coronary artery disease||7.5%|
|Cranial nerve paralysis||7.5%|
|Increased intracranial pressure||7.5%|
|Retrobulbar optic neuritis||7.5%|
The exact cause of Behçet's disease is unknown. Most symptoms of the disease are caused by inflammation of the blood vessels. Inflammation is a characteristic reaction of the body to injury or disease and is marked by four signs: swelling, redness, heat, and pain. Doctors think that an autoimmune reaction may cause the blood vessels to become inflamed, but they do not know what triggers this reaction. Under normal conditions, the immune system protects the body from diseases and infections by killing harmful "foreign" substances, such as germs, that enter the body. In an autoimmune reaction, the immune system mistakenly attacks and harms the body's own tissues.
Behçet's disease is not contagious; it is not spread from one person to another. Researchers think that two factors are important for a person to get Behçet's disease. First, it is believed that abnormalities of the immune system make some people susceptible to the disease. Scientists think that this susceptibility may be inherited; that is, it may be due to one or more specific genes. Second, something in the environment, possibly a bacterium or virus, might trigger or activate the disease in susceptible people.
Although there is no cure for Behçet's disease, people can usually control symptoms with proper medication, rest, exercise, and a healthy lifestyle. The goal of treatment is to reduce discomfort and prevent serious complications such as disability from arthritis or blindness. The type of medicine and the length of treatment depend on the person's symptoms and their severity. It is likely that a combination of treatments will be needed to relieve specific symptoms. Patients should tell each of their doctors about all of the medicines they are taking so that the doctors can coordinate treatment.
Topical medicine is applied directly on the sores to relieve pain and discomfort. For example, doctors prescribe rinses, gels, or ointments. Creams are used to treat skin and genital sores. The medicine usually contains corticosteroids (which reduce inflammation), other anti-inflammatory drugs, or an anesthetic, which relieves pain.
Doctors also prescribe medicines taken by mouth to reduce inflammation throughout the body, suppress the overactive immune system, and relieve symptoms. Doctors may prescribe one or more of the medicines listed below to treat the various symptoms of Behçet's disease.
Research helps us better understand diseases and can lead to advances in diagnosis and treatment. This section provides resources to help you learn about medical research and ways to get involved.
Nonprofit support and advocacy groups bring together patients, families, medical professionals, and researchers. These groups often raise awareness, provide support, and develop patient-centered information. Many are the driving force behind research for better treatments and possible cures. They can direct people to research, resources, and services. Many groups also have experts who serve as medical advisors. Visit their website or contact them to learn about the services they offer. Inclusion on this list is not an endorsement by GARD. Suggest an organization to add.
Autoinflammation 2013: The Seventh International Congress of FMF and Autoinflammatory Diseases Wednesday, May 22, 2013 -
Sunday, May 26, 2013
Location: Lausanne, Switzerland
Description: The goals of this meeting include the exchange of clinical and scientific information regarding the autoinflammatory diseases. This is likely to result in improvements in the diagnosis and treatment of these diseases. Past Congresses have resulted in new scientific collaborations, development of registries for patients with specific autoinflammatory disorders, and the initiation of multicenter clinical trials.
Contact: Daniel Kastner, M.D., Ph.D., firstname.lastname@example.org
Co-funding Institute(s): National Human Genome Research Institute, Office of Rare Diseases Research
Autoinflammation 2010, the Sixth International Conference on FMF and other Autoinflammatory Diseases
Thursday, September 2, 2010 -
Monday, September 6, 2010
Location: Royal Tropical Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Description: Autoinflammation 2010 was the sixth conference in a series that started more than 10 years ago in Jerusalem. The first conference focused primarily on familial Mediterranean fever (FMF), but soon other hereditary periodic fever syndromes were included. These syndromes were the first to be recognized as autoinflammatory disorders. Recent years have seen an exciting development of scientific knowledge on inflammation and its regulation, and these rare disorders have played a major role in this development. Experts in the field of autoinflammatory disorders, both clinicians and basic scientists, from all over the world met in Amsterdam to exchange research results and opinions on clinical practice. The scientific program included plenary talks, meet-the-expert sessions, interactive workshops, and laptop presentations. Topics ranged from FMF and the other hereditary autoinflammatory diseases to acquired autoinflammatory disorders, such as gout, and from pathogenesis and genetics to clinical phenotype and therapy. Also included was a 1-day program for patients.
Contact: Daniel Kastner, M.D., Ph.D., email@example.com
Co-funding Institute(s): Office of Rare Diseases Research, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
Questions sent to GARD may be posted here if the information could be helpful to others. We remove all identifying information when posting a question to protect your privacy. If you do not want your question posted, please let us know. Submit a new question
My granddaughter was diagnosed with Behcet's. She sleeps up to 16 hours a day. Is it common for individuals with Behcet's disease to be tired all of the time? See answer
My first episode of Behcet's disease was pretty mild. Is my next episode likely to be the same or progress to a more aggressive event? See answer
I have been diagnosed with Behcet's disease. Although I have other symptoms, my eyes have been causing me the most trouble. Please tell me more about the ocular issues with Behcet's and how they might be treated. See answer