Inflammation of arteries causes blindness, says study

June 17th, 2008 - 6:17 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, June 17 (IANS) Inflammation of arteries in the brain is likely to cause blindness, according to a new study. Researchers at the Geisinger Health System came to this conclusion after examining a disorder known as temporal arteritis — a condition where arteries swell and restrict blood flow to the brain.

Temporal arteritis can cause headaches, jaw soreness and flu-like symptoms. Untreated, the disease can lead to blindness or stroke. The average age for disease onset is 70.

A giant version of white blood cells that destroy bacteria are often found in patients with the disease, and these make them far more vulnerable to blindness, as compared to healthy patients.

Besides, patients with these giant cells are three times more likely to experience Polymyalgia rheumatica, an inflammatory disorder that causes muscle aches and stiffness primarily in the arms, thighs and neck.

“We need to learn more about how these giant cells work so we can limit the effects of this disease, which can cause significant problems if ignored,” said Geisinger rheumatologist and study’s co- author Thomas Harrington, MD.

The study has been published in the latest edition of the Journal of Clinical Pathology.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in World |