Is Behcet’s Disease Hereditary?

About Behcet’s Disease:

Behcet’s Disease is an extremely rare medical condition in which the blood vessels throughout the body become inflamed. This may result in development of mouth sores, inflammation of the eyes, and skin rashes. The symptoms of Behcet’s Disease are quite variable and differ from individual to individual. In some cases, the symptoms of this condition wax and wane while in other cases they completely clear up by themselves.

The treatment for Behcet’s Disease is focused mainly on controlling symptoms and preventing any complications that may arise, some of which may be potentially serious like complete blindness.

The root cause of Behcet’s Disease is not known, although researchers believe it to be an autoimmune disorder. An autoimmune disorder is a medical condition in which the immune system of the body attacks the healthy tissues and cells mistaking them for foreign bodies.

Some studies suggest that certain environmental factors like bacteria or viral infection may trigger the immune system and may predispose an individual to the development of Behcet’s Disease.

Is Behcet's Disease Hereditary?

Is Behcet’s Disease Hereditary?

There have been certain gene variations that have been linked to the development of Behcet’s Disease. This gene variation is seen in the HLA-B gene which has been shown to increase the risk of developing Behcet’s Disease.

The HLA-B gene functions by making a protein which is extremely vital for the immune system of the body. The HLA gene complex helps the immune system differentiate between the proteins of the body and those formed by foreign bodies like bacteria and viruses.

There have been a few rare cases where Behcet’s Disease has run in families, although such cases are extremely rare and the inheritance pattern is also not clear.

Thus it cannot be said for certainty that there is a hereditary component linked to the development of Behcet’s Disease, although certain gene variations especially in the HLA-B gene have shown to increase the risk of an individual developing Behcet’s Disease.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:June 16, 2021

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