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ABDA > Resources > Research

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How Are Researchers Learning About Behcet's Disease?


Researchers are exploring possible genetic, bacterial, and viral causes of Behcet's Disease. They hope to identify genes that increase the chance of developing the disease. Studying these genes and how they work may lead to a new understanding of the disease and possibly new forms of treatment.


Researchers are also investigating factors in the environment, such as a bacteria or viruses. They are particularly interested in whether Streptococcus, the bacteria that causes strep throat, is associated with the disease. Many people with Behcet's Disease have had several strep infections. In addition, researchers suspect that herpes virus type I, a virus that causes cold sores, may be associated with the disease.


Finally, researchers are hoping to continue the development of medicines to better treat Behcet's Disease. Thalidomide, for example, appears effective in treating severe mouth sores, but its use is experimental and very limited. Thalidomide is not used in women of childbearing age because it causes severe birth defects.


For more information on current research and clinical trials, please visit our links area.