Amyloidosis is a recent disease, first described in 1838 by Rudolph Virchow, a German pathologist, who identified abnormal deposits in the tissue of deceased patients. Since then, much research has been conducted to understand the mechanisms of amyloid protein formation, identify risk factors for amyloidosis and develop new treatments for this rare disease. Although amyloidosis research is relatively limited, there is hope for amyloidosis patients thanks to recent advances. But what is the status of amyloidosis research? This is the question we will try to answer throughout this article.
Causes and treatments of amyloidosis
The causes of amyloidosis are not yet well understood, but scientists have discovered that the disease can be hereditary and that its symptoms depend on the organ affected and can therefore vary from patient to patient. Currently, there are few treatments for amyloidosis. This makes research into this disease all the more important. In order to develop new treatments, scientists are seeking to understand the underlying mechanisms of amyloidosis: a major challenge.
Research is aimed at understanding how the disease develops:
- Why are some organs more affected than others?
- When a genetic mutation occurs, why do some family members develop the disease while others do not?
- Beyond genetics, what are the other causes that can trigger the disease?
So many questions to which science is trying to provide concrete and reliable answers. Each patient can contribute to the edifice by simply discussing with his or her doctor.
Advances in research
Research is enabling the development of new treatments. New chemotherapies and protocols have recently been proposed for the treatment of AL amyloidosis. International collaboration has led to the recent arrival of new treatments, while other drugs are being evaluated.
Currently, research is focused on two areas:
- Enzymes and their impact on amyloid formation
- Research on biomarkers of amyloidosis.
Thus, recent advances in research on this disease are encouraging. Scientists who are working hard to understand and treat this disease should be encouraged.
To answer the question: What is the status of amyloidosis research? This article was inspired by Jodie’s question and answer sheets (in French).