Health

Friday 22 August 2014

Neurosarcoidosis: the facts

WHAT IS IT?

SARCOIDOSIS is a multi-organ disease where tiny clumps of abnormal, inflamed tissue (granulomas) form, affecting that organ's performance. Neurosarcoidosis is when the disease affects the nervous system causing muscle weakness and often affecting the area of the brain dealing with sleep and stress response.

WHO GETS IT?

Sarcoidosis is prevalent in Ireland and affects one or two in 1,500 people. It often occurs between the ages of 20 and 40 with women slightly more likely to develop it, and risk increasing if there's a family history of the disease. Neurosarcoidosis is very rare -- only present in approximately 5pc of sarcoidosis cases worldwide.

It is not known what causes sarcoidosis.

TREATMENT?

There is no established cure for neurosarcoidosis. Treatment focuses on easing symptoms using immunosuppresants to control the disease and steroids to reduce inflammation.

SYMPTOMS?

Symptoms vary as any part of the nervous system can be affected, but they may include fatigue, excessive thirst, dizziness, headaches, loss of vision or sense of smell, speech impairment, loss of movement in any body part and nausea.

For more information about the condition visit the Irish Sarcoidosis Support Network website: www.isarc.ie

Irish Independent

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