Protein Deposits Affecting the Eyes Can Be Common in hATTR Patients
According to a Spanish study, people with hereditary transthyretin amyloidosis (hATTR) may develop eye problems over time.
Indeed, researchers have noted that symptoms in patients’ eyes often take longer to develop than other symptoms of the disease. Therefore, it is recommended that patients with hereditary transthyretin amyloidosis have regular eye examinations to check that their eyes have not been affected by the disease. While they may not initially show any signs of eye damage, this can develop rapidly over time.
The study, “Ophthalmologic Involvement in Patients with Hereditary Transthyretin Amyloidosis,” was published in the journal Retina.
Eye symptoms usually later to develop than neurologic or cardiac symptoms
In patients with hereditary transthyretin amyloidosis, the first signs of the disease are often cardiac and neurological manifestations. However, as the disease progresses, digestive and ocular problems may appear, and these are the next symptoms to appear.
A team of Spanish researchers carried out detailed examinations on 58 eyes of 29 people with hATTR who were receiving care at their centre. About one third of the eyes analysed showed signs of the disease. The eye damage was more prevalent in women. Often, amyloid deposits were deposited in the vitreous of the eye or there were abnormal protein deposits in the lens.
In order to determine which genetic mutations are more likely to lead to eye damage, larger studies will need to be conducted by the research teams.
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