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NINDS Disorders is an index of neurological conditions provided by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. This valuable tool offers detailed descriptions, facts on treatment and prognosis, and patient organization contact information for over 500 identified neurological disorders.

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Behcet's Disease

Behcet's disease is a rare, chronic inflammatory disorder. The cause of Behcet's disease is unknown, but current research suggests that both genetic and  environmental factors play a role.  Behcet's disease generally begins when individuals are in their 20s or 30s, although it can happen at any age. It tends to occur more often in men than in women. Symptoms of Behcet's disease include recurrent ulcers in the mouth (resembling canker sores) and on the genitals, and eye inflammation. The disorder may also cause various types of skin lesions, arthritis, bowel inflammation, meningitis (inflammation of the membranes of the brain and spinal cord), and cranial nerve palsies. Behcet's is a multi-system disease; it may involve all organs and affect the central nervous system, causing memory loss and impaired speech, balance, and movement. The effects of the disease may include blindness, stroke, swelling of the spinal cord, and intestinal complications. The disease is common in the Middle East, particularly in Turkey, and in Far Eastern nations such as Japan and Korean, but is less common in the United States.

Treatment

Treatment for Behcet's disease is symptomatic and supportive. Medication may be prescribed to reduce inflammation and/or regulate the immune system. Immunosuppressive therapy may be considered.

Prognosis

Behcet's disease is a lifelong disorder that comes and goes. Permanent remission of symptoms has not been reported.

Research

The NINDS supports research on painful neurological disorders such as Behcet's disease. The National Human Genome Research Institute, another Institute of the National Institutes of Health, conducts research into the genomic basis of Behcet's disease.  This research is aimed at discovering the causes of these disorders and finding ways to treat, prevent, and, ultimately, cure them.

View a list of studies currently seeking patients.

View more studies on this condition.

Read additional information from Medline Plus.

Organizations

National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD)

Federation of voluntary health organizations dedicated to helping people with rare "orphan" diseases and assisting the organizations that serve them. Committed to the identification, treatment, and cure of rare disorders through programs of education, advocacy, research, and service.

55 Kenosia Avenue
Danbury, CT 06810
Tel: 203-744-0100 Voice Mail 800-999-NORD (6673)
Fax: 203-798-2291

American Behcet's Disease Association

Non-profit information and support resource. Provides information to the medical community and works to decrease isolation and stress for people with Behcet's Disease and their family members.

P.O. 869
Smithtown, NY 11787-0869
Tel: 631-656-0537 800-7-BEHCETS (723-4238)
Fax: 480-247-5377

National Eye Institute (NEI)

National Institutes of Health, DHHS
31 Center Drive, Rm. 6A32 MSC 2510
Bethesda, MD 20892-2510
Tel: 301-496-5248

National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)

National Institutes of Health, DHHS
31 Center Drive, Room 5B-55
Bethesda, MD 20892
Tel: 301-496-4261

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)

National Institutes of Health, DHHS
31 Center Dr., Rm. 4C02 MSC 2350
Bethesda, MD 20892-2350
Tel: 301-496-8190 877-22-NIAMS (226-4267)

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