An uncommon and chronic disease of protein deposition is called amyloidosis. The disease occurs when an abnormal protein called amyloid builds in the organs or tissues. As the level of amyloid protein deposits starts to increase, they interrupt the healthy functioning of the organ or tissue. Gradually, the amyloid protein deposits can lead to failure of the organ, and in rare cases, amyloidosis can be fatal.
The deposits of amyloid are referred to as amyloidosis. This disease can either be localized to a certain organ, like the bowel, skin, lung, and bladder or can be systemic. This means that the deposition can be found in the entire body. This is one of the most common types of amyloidosis. Even though amyloidosis is not a form of cancer, it is linked with some types of blood cancer, namely multiple myeloma.
Since amyloidosis is a rare disorder, it is difficult to diagnose and understand the condition properly. Over the past few decades, however, researchers and doctors have been able to understand a lot about the condition. The condition is still being studied to understand it better.
Various types of amyloidosis include the following:
1. Familial or hereditary amyloidosis
This is one of the rarest types of amyloidosis. It gets passed on in the family from one generation to the next. Sometimes, problems may be caused to the heart due to the proteins produced. This could lead to carpal tunnel syndrome and abnormalities in the eyes. Under this type of amyloidosis, the very common subtype involves transthyretin protein.
2. Light-chain amyloidosis
One of the most common types of amyloidosis in the country is light chain amyloidosis. There is a build-up of amyloid proteins in the tissues. These light chains can either be lambda or kappa. This is more of a plasma cell disorder. White blood cells are responsible for the production of antibodies or immunoglobulins. But due to amyloidosis, the white blood cells are unable to fight against an infection. In this type of amyloidosis, light-chain proteins are produced in excess. The deposits of these are found in tissues and can cause damage to one or more organs. The most commonly affected organs are the gastrointestinal system, nerves, kidneys, and heart. Light-chain amyloidosis is associated with multiple myeloma, as it is linked with excess production of the plasma cell proteins.
3. Autoimmune amyloidosis
Secondary amyloidosis or autoimmune amyloidosis is also known as inflammatory amyloidosis. Under this type of amyloidosis, the amyloid protein gets formed in the tissues. This condition is linked with some diseases that are chronic, such as tuberculosis, diabetes, inflammatory bowel diseases, and rheumatoid arthritis. This condition is associated with one’s age and is known to affect the lymph nodes, adrenal glands, kidneys, liver, and spleen.