About harada syndrome

What is harada syndrome?

Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada disease is a rare disorder of unknown origin that affects many body systems, including as the eyes, ears, skin, and the covering of the brain and spinal cord (the meninges). The most noticeable symptom is a rapid loss of vision. There may also be neurological signs such as severe headache, vertigo, nausea, and drowsiness. Loss of hearing, and loss of hair (alopecia) and skin color may occur along, with whitening (loss of pigmentation) of the hair and eyelashes (poliosis).

What are the symptoms for harada syndrome?

Vision loss symptom was found in the harada syndrome condition

The symptoms of VKH occur in different phases. The early symptoms include headaches, eye pain, and dizziness. These are followed by Hearing loss and Inflammation of the eye (panuveitis). Later symptoms include development of white patches of skin and hair (vitiligo), hair loss (alopecia), cataracts, and glaucoma.

What are the causes for harada syndrome?

The exact cause of Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada disease is unknown. It is thought by researchers to be an immune response to the human leukocyte antigen (HLA). These are genetic markers located on chromosome 6 that react specifically with a particular antibody. This genetic defect may predispose persons who carry this antigen to develop Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada disease.

Autoimmune disorders are caused when the body’s natural defenses (antibodies, lymphocytes, etc.) against invading organisms suddenly begin to attack perfectly healthy tissue.

Some researchers also think that there may be a genetic predisposition for the disease since it has occurred in a brother and sister and in a set of twins. A genetic predisposition means that a person may carry a gene for a disease but it may not be expressed unless something in the environment triggers the disease.

What are the treatments for harada syndrome?

Testing used by an ophthalmologist or neurologist to determine if this disease is present include a spinal tap, x-ray of the blood vessels after the injection of dye (angiography), and ultrasound. Other treatment is symptomatic and supportive.

What are the risk factors for harada syndrome?

Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada disease is a rare disease that affects males and females in equal numbers. The disorder is more prevalent in Asian, Hispanic and Native American populations than in people who trace their ancestry to northern Europe. Onset typically occurs at around 30 or 40 years of age, but cases have been reported among children as young as four years old.

Is there a cure/medications for harada syndrome?

Standard treatment of Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada disease is the use of high-dose systemic steroid drugs initially and often followed by immunosuppressive therapy. 

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