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Hughes Syndrome – Causes and Symptoms of Hughes Syndrome

Hughes syndrome, also known as ‘Antiphospholipid syndrome’ or ‘sticky syndrome’ is an autoimmune disease condition that causes blood clotting in the arteries and veins. It can cause clot formation in the legs, known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT), in organs such as lungs and kidneys leading to life threatening conditions. It can cause a multiple dangerous symptoms, such as heart valve diseases, fainting and miscarriages. The causes, risk factors and symptoms of the syndrome are discussed below.

Causes of Hughes Syndrome
The immune system of a person produces antibodies called antiphospholipid antibodies. These antibodies attack fats and proteins present in the blood, called as phospholipids. The phospholipids that are attacked generally perform an important role in the body i.e maintain a proper blood consistency. If these fats and proteins are attacked, the blood becomes sticky and results in clot formation.

The factors that develop antiphospholipid antibodies are:

  • Genetic factor – The disease is considered to be hereditary as the relatives of the people with this disorder are more likely to develop the antibodies.
  • Medications – Certain drugs such as antibiotics, anti-seizure medications and high blood pressure medications increase the risk of developing the antibodies.
  • Infections – People with infections of malaria, hepatitis C, HIV, syphilis are at a greater risk of developing antibodies.

Risk factors of Hughes Syndrome
The factors that increase the risk of developing Hughes syndrome are:

  • Taking oral contraceptives
  • Having high cholesterol and high blood pressure
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Underwent with any previous surgery
  • Remaining immobile for a period of time
  • Pregnancy

Symptoms of Hughes Syndrome
The signs and symptoms of Hughes syndrome include:

  • Recurrent pregnancy loss
  • Skin sores
  • Skin rash
  • Heart valve disease
  • Seizures
  • Memory loss
  • Abnormal movements (chorea)
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Migraine headaches
  • Mild thrombocytopenia (decrease in platelet count)
  • Epilepsy
  • Bluish coloration of the skin in areas of wrists and knees
  • Mental health problems such as depression
  • Sudden hearing loss

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