Discover a rare type of disease that attacks only women and saves a life.
The Immune System is a defense that the body has in a natural way that attacks and destroys infections such as bacteria and viruses. A common symptom of knowing that we are sick is inflammation. How many times have you suffered from the flu and the first symptom is a sore throat?
There are strange cases that have alerted specialists to find that the immune system attacks the brain of women and is not due to bad habits such as smoking, drug use or alcohol, since the research of Dr. Susan Mathai, shows otherwise.
The result of the investigation was carried out because a 27-year-old woman arrived at the hospital, in a mental state of abnormal alteration, after carefully analyzing the symptoms with various studies such as: neuronal, trauma, psychiatric diseases, they discovered that the problem is an infection or toxin and / or a metabolic disorder that directly attacks the brain.
What are those symptoms?
According to the report, based on age and gender (female) and symptoms, specialists detected that it could be a rare type of encephalitis or inflammation of the brain, called anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis. To understand better, you should know that the brain has cells called NMDA that are responsible for destroying all types of infection through the bloodstream.
Anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis is an autoimmune disorder, where the immune system attacks a person’s body, producing antibodies that destroy the NMDA receptor in the brain. When this attack occurs, the body reacts through abnormal behaviors, mentioned above.
Dr. Mathai commented that autoimmune disorder is increasingly recognized as a cause of encephalitis and that around 4 in 5 women are diagnosed.
What are the tests and treatments for that disease?
Specialists will do a test by taking a sample of the spinal fluid where they can detect the antibodies and diagnose the disease.
Even research does not find the cause of this condition, however, they deduce that tumors may be the ones that develop the disease. Due to a study of ovarian teratomas (non-cancerous tumor that grows in the ovaries) they discovered that patients with anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis all had this type of tumor.
Certain proteins in tumors are thought to activate the immune system to create antibodies that attack cells (NMDA) in the brain.
The treatments for this type of disease is the removal of the tumor in the ovaries. In addition, specialists need to remove all problematic antibodies in the blood, therefore, women undergo a treatment called “plasmapheresis” to purify the blood, it is a process that lasts five days. Besides that they are treated with drugs to suppress their immune system.
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All diseases are devastating, however it is important to know about rare cases that have been successful and are still being investigated. Remember that information is power and can save lives.
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