Vasculitis: The disease behind the slow, painful death of comedian Harold Ramis
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
2/25/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Harold Ramis, a movie comic that filled many people's live with laughter and joy dies a slow, painful death from a disease that continues to battle the medical community. Vasculitis is described as a condition that turns on the body's network of veins and arteries. According to the National Institutes of Health, vasculitis makes blood vessels inflamed, restricting the flow of blood or cutting it off entirely.
The last four years of Harold Ramis' life were painful and difficult ones, as he was diagnosed with vasculitis, a misunderstood condition that attacks the body's arteries.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Vasculitis ultimately can lead to the starvation of human organs and cause painful tissue damage. Vasculitis can also lead to aneurysms, potentially leading to dangerous internal bleeding.
"Basically, the arteries can be leaking, they can be blocked or broken, and that all causes problems," Dr. Peter Merkel, a rheumatologist and director of the Penn Vasculitis Center at the University of Pennsylvania medical school says. "If you interrupt the blood supply, whatever organ or tissue is being supplied downstream is unhappy."
The director of "Caddyshack," "National Lampoon's Vacation" and "Groundhog Day," co-writer of "National Lampoon's Animal House" and co-star of "Stripes" and "Ghostbusters," Ramis this week at the age of 69, four years after contracting the condition.
The cause of Ramis' death has been officially as complications from autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis. It's "not a term that physicians would routinely use" and doesn't identify which of the more than 15 identified variants of vasculitis that Ramis had, Merkel says.
More than 200,000 people in the U.S. suffer from the condition, Merkel says -- "but if you add them all up together, it's not rare, and chances are everybody knows somebody, directly or indirectly, that is affected.
"Some of the manifestations are painful or very debilitating," he said. In Ramis' case, he suffered an infection that led to complications and forced him to relearn to walk.
Even worse, since vasculitis' symptoms mimic those of other diseases, it can often be misdiagnosed or missed altogether. The causes are largely unknown.
"We have some hints for most types of vasculitis," Merkel said. "Drugs or medications can cause it. Some infections can lead to vasculitis, such as hepatitis B or hepatitis C. But for the majority of patients of vasculitis, we don't know the cause. We're doing a lot of research to try to find it out."
Treatments usually involve steroids and "chemotherapy-like" drugs. Vasculitis is the subject of a great deal of federal and privately backed research, and treatments "are much better than they were," Merkel added.
"We are making a lot of progress in treating this disease," he said.
Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for JUNE 2017
National Leaders. That national leaders may firmly commit themselves to ending the arms trade, which victimizes so many innocent people.
Kim Kardashian may be one of the most famous American celebrities, and she is worth a fortune. That's why it's baffling she would desecrate ... continue reading
Ron Howard and Henry Winkler mourn the loss of 'Happy Days' costar Erin Moran, who passed away at only 56-years-old Watch
Erin Moran, the beautiful actress best known for her role as Joanie Cunningham in "Happy Days" has passed away at only 56-years-old. LOS ... continue reading
On her fifth anniversary of sobriety, singer/songwriter Demi Lovato posted a message thanking God for breaking the curse of addiction from ... continue reading
Catholic nuns sickened by Katy Perry's link to witchcraft as they fight to stop her purchase of sacred convent Watch
In 2014, singer/songwriter Katy Perry paid a visit to Boston, MA and took place in an event called the Salem Witch Walk. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading
Bill Paxton, known for his roles in "Twister," "Aliens," and "Apollo 13" passed away on February 25, 2017. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading
by Catholic Online
- Central bankers warn of looming global recession HD Video
- Is Atheism a religion?
- St. Cyril of Alexandria: Saint of the Day for Tuesday, June 27, 2017
- Daily Readings for Tuesday, June 27, 2017
- Supreme Court sides with church in playground case
- Vatican asks for the release of bishop forcibly removed from diocese
- Daily Reading for Wednesday, June 28th, 2017 HD Video
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, June 27th, 2017 HD
- Daily Reading for Monday, June 26th, 2017 HD
- Daily Reading for Sunday, June 25th, 2017 HD
- Pope Francis prepares an incredible gift of love and solidarity for South Sudan HD