Behcet's disease is a rare, chronic inflammatory disorder. The cause of Behcet's disease is unknown, but current research suggests that both genetic and environmental factors play a role. Behcet's disease generally begins when individuals are in their 20s or 30s, although it can happen at any age. It tends to occur more often in men than in women. Symptoms of Behcet's disease include recurrent ulcers in the mouth (resembling canker sores) and on the genitals, and eye inflammation. The disorder may also cause various types of skin lesions, arthritis, bowel inflammation, meningitis (inflammation of the membranes of the brain and spinal cord), and cranial nerve palsies. Behcet's is a multi-system disease; it may involve all organs and affect the central nervous system, causing memory loss and impaired speech, balance, and movement.
The effects of the disease may include blindness, stroke, swelling of the spinal cord, and intestinal complications. The disease is common in the Middle East, particularly in Turkey, and in Far Eastern nations such as Japan and Korean, but is less common in the United States.
Treatment for Behcet's disease is symptomatic and supportive. Medication may be prescribed to reduce inflammation and/or regulate the immune system. Immunosuppressive therapy may be considered.
Behcet's disease is a lifelong disorder that comes and goes. Permanent remission of symptoms has not been reported.
The NINDS supports research on painful neurological disorders such as Behcet's disease. The National Human Genome Research Institute, another Institute of the National Institutes of Health, conducts research into the genomic basis of Behcet's disease. This research is aimed at discovering the causes of these disorders and finding ways to treat, prevent, and, ultimately, cure them. Information from the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlusBehcet's Syndrome
American Behcet's Disease Association
Rochester, MI 48308
Non-profit information and support resource. Provides information to the medical community and works to decrease isolation and stress for people with Behcet's Disease and their family members.
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
National Institutes of Health, DHHS
31 Center Drive, Room 5B-55
Bethesda, MD 20892
Information sourced through CNF’s partnership with The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), US National Institutes of Health.