Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Hepatitis C And Neuropathy

Today's post from (see link below) talks about the link between hepatitis C and neuropathy. It is suspected that the blood condition EMC which is associated with hepatitis C, is responsible for causing nervous system abnormalities, thus explaining why so many people with hepatitis C also display symptoms familiar to many neuropathy patients. In this case, new treatments for hepatitis C are emerging and becoming more widely available. There's even a good chance that a combination therapy similar to the HIV anti-viral combos will be available for Hepatitis C patients. The research so far however, on the links between Hep C, EMC and Neuropathy, is thin on the ground to say the least.


By Mary Lou Reazor|March 24th, 2013|

There is a very strong association between HCV and a blood condition called Essential Mixed Cryoglobulinemia (EMC). People with hepatitis c, who suffer numbness or tingling of their extremities, know from experience there is also an association between HCV and Neuropathy. Increasingly, their claims are finding support according to researchers and clinical physicians.

Among other symptoms, EMC can cause nervous system abnormalities. Researchers have not explained the connection between HCV, Neuropathy and EMC, nor have they found significantly effective treatments, but knowledge is sure to increase as more people are diagnosed with HCV and its symptoms.

Neuropathy refers to any disease of the nervous system, resulting from localized inflammation of nerves. Patients complain of numbness, tingling and muscle weakness. Symptoms appear in the body’s extremities, the condition is called “Peripheral Neuropathy”. A physical exam may also reveal decreased deep tendon reflexes.

In both Encephalopathy and Neuropathy, the key change is inflammation of blood vessels (Vasculitis). The vessels are responding to immune system products floating in the blood vessels directly. The immune-globulins that are involved are called Cryoglobulins because they turn into a cool gel at cool temperatures. Since cold temps readily affect the small and middle-sized vessels in the extremities, the Cryoglobulins are more likely to form in them. Cryoglobulemia is the condition of having cyroglobulins in the blood.

There are several possible new treatments in “the pipeline”. There are several anti-viral agents that have shown promise in clinical trials, and researchers are developing several HCV specific protease inhibitors similar to those used for HIV retro-virus.

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