Behcet’s Disease is a very rare vasculitis that is presented and characterized by small mucous membrane ulcerations, typically on the inside of the mouth and elsewhere on sensitive skin, and ocular problems. The disease was first discovered and classified in 1937, and is named after the Turkish dermatologist who made the discovery, Hulusi Behcet.
Because it is a systemic disease, meaning it can work its way through the whole body, it can also involve the visceral organs like the neurological system, cardiovascular track, musculoskeletal system, and pulmonary and gastrointestinal tracts as it makes its way through the body. Eventually left untreated, Behcet’s disease can become fatal, caused by ruptured vascular aneurysms, as well as through severe neurological complications.
The causes of Bechet’s disease to this day are not extremely well-defined, but they are primarily known and characterized by things like blood vessels which have been auto-inflamed. Diagnosis of the causes and presence of Behcet’s disease in this way is typically reached either by a diagnosis of exclusion, or by extensive pathologic examination of the affected areas to the point where diagnosis is certain.
The primary cause and culprit in Behcet’s disease appears to be an overactive immune system that turns on and begins acting against the host human body. Additionally, doctors know that T cells are important and involved here, though it is not exactly known how they function in regards to the disease.
Unfortunately, causes of Behcet’s disease are not better known than that, and a great deal of those who suffer from Behcet’s disease suffer knowing that they may never understand what caused the problem in the first place. No one is certain in the medical community as to why the immune system overacts and reacts in this way, in the first place.
The main symptoms of Behcet’s disease that are exemplified in all patients seem to be ulcers and non-scarring oral lesions that present themselves on the inside of the mouth and lips, and are similar to those found in inflammatory bowel disease and can relapse themselves accordingly. Additionally, painful genital ulcerations also typically develop in more than three-quarters of patients, and can cause scarring on genital areas and in the anus that can be permanent.
Other Behcet’s disease symptoms include lesions and marks around an inside the eyes, as the eye ball is another mucous membrane attacked by the disease and its immune system response, resulting usually in either primary or secondary optic nerve involvement of some sort.