Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome
What is Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome (APS)? APS is associated with recurrent clotting events (thrombosis) including premature stroke, repeated miscarriages, phlebitis, venous thrombosis (clot in the vein) and pulmonary thromboembolism (blockage of an artery found in the lung due to a clot that has traveled from a vein). It is also associated with low platelet or blood elements that prevent bleeding. Recently, however, even more disease states have been linked with APL including premature heart attack, migraine headaches, various cardiac valvular abnormalities, skin lesions, abnormal movement/chorea, diseases that mimic multiple sclerosis, vascular diseases of the eye that can lead to visual loss and blindness.
APS is an autoimmune disorder in which the body recognizes certain normal components of blood and/or cell membranes as foreign substances and produces antibodies against them. There are two known forms of APS. APS may occur in people with systemic lupus erythematosus, other autoimmune disease, or in otherwise healthy individuals. Sadly, when most people hear about APS and it being referred to as autoimmune disease, they incorrectly confuse the terms autoimmune with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS); or they think this is a form of cancer.
Lack of knowledge and awareness results in needless suffering for persons with APS. Misdiagnosis and / or delayed diagnosis usually result in damage to vital organs. The APS Foundation of America, Inc's vision is to bring national attention to APS as a common factor in multiple miscarriages, thrombosis, young strokes and heart attacks is vital in order to bring a joint effort to research, funding, early detection, and eventually, prevention and cure for APS.
APS is also referred to as APLS or APLA in the United States and Hughes Syndrome or Sticky Blood in the UK