Member Spotlight: American Behcet’s Disease Association
By Theo Smith, Associate, Marketing & Communications
Behcet’s disease, also called Behcet’s syndrome, is a rare chronic disorder that causes blood vessel inflammation throughout the body. Symptoms of Behcet’s disease vary from person-to-person and can come and go or become less severe over time. This inflammatory disorder is characterized by recurrent mouth ulcers, inflammation of the eyes, genital ulcers, rashes, skin lesions, and/or other symptoms.
The American Behcet’s Disease Association (ABDA) is a voluntary, non-profit organization whose mission is to provide information and support to the Behcet’s community. The ABDA works to educate and empower people with Behcet’s disease, their families, and the medical community while continuously advocating for better research, diagnostics, and treatment.
Behcet’s disease is believed to be an autoimmune disorder, which means the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells. Researchers have found several genes associated with the disease and believe it is likely genetic and environmental factors also play a role. There is currently no cure for Behcet’s disease. However, treatment involves medication to reduce signs and symptoms and to prevent serious complications, such as blindness.
The ABDA funds research on this rare autoimmune disease that affects men, women, and children of all backgrounds. Through national medical conferences and fund-raising events, the ABDA brings together researchers and scientists around the country to promote awareness, understanding, and work to find a cure for Behcet’s disease.
During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the ABDA has been providing patients and caregivers with access to online resources answering questions about the virus and how to protect themselves from infected persons. Their website offers free webinars featuring information about how COVID-19 affects the autoimmune community. Additionally, the ABDA is continuing to support its members and patients by participating in daily calls to monitor updates about COVID-19 and navigating long term challenges ahead.
The ABDA is a proud member of the National Health Council (NHC) and helps us in meeting our mission of providing a united voice for people with chronic conditions and their family caregivers. Working together, our organizations create a collaborative environment and put forward consensus public policy solutions that keep the patient central to all we do.
To learn more about the American Behcet’s Disease Association, go to their website.
If you would like more information on NHC membership, please contact Susan Gaffney.