Many of us know that diseases can either be caused by our lifestyle or could also be genetically inherited. What we do not know is that, there are some diseases where our own immune system, specifically our antibodies, attacks our own healthy cells. These diseases are called autoimmune diseases.
An autoimmune disease develops when your immune system, which defends your body against diseases, decides your healthy cells are foreign. Depending on the type, an autoimmune disease can affect one or many different types of body tissue.
In many autoimmune diseases, the chief weapons of attack are antibodies, proteins that circulate in the bloodstream until they meet and bind with the target tissue. Once bound, they impair the functions of the target, and signal other immune components to respond as well.
Plasmapheresis is used to remove antibodies from the bloodstream, thereby preventing them from attacking their targets. It does not directly affect the immune system’s ability to make more antibodies, and therefore may only offer temporary benefit. In these instances, a rapid improvement could save the patient’s life. Neurologic diseases are some of the diseases that could profit from plasmapheresis.
Plasmapheresis is an effective temporary treatment for autoimmune and neurologically related disorders such as:
Rapidly removes autoantibody which shortens the need for ICU admission, respirator attachment, and decrease patient mortality in Myasthenia Crisis where patient presents severe respiratory muscle weakness.
For other conditions, the benefits can take a few weeks to notice.
Because of concerns over viral infection and allergic reaction, fresh plasma is not routinely used. Instead, the most common substitute is saline solution with sterilized human albumin protein. During the course of a single session, two to three liters of plasma is removed and replaced.
A single plasmapheresis treatment can take 1 to 3 hours.The length of treatment will depend on your body size and the amount of plasma that needs to be exchanged. You will most likely need 3-5 sessions in alternate day depending on the diagnosis and response of the body.
You may experience some discomfort when the needles are inserted. The procedure itself is painless.
The patient may experience dizziness, nausea, numbness, tingling, or lightheadedness during or after the procedure. These effects usually pass quickly, allowing the patient to return to normal activities the same day.
Dr. Naris added that normally, the patient will be admitted in the ward for the total course except those with Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO) who could possibly stay at home, but most of the time it is not recommended.
When you return home, be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions.
Vejthani Hospital Neuroscience Center’s Neurology Department is a medical specialty department dealing with disorders of the nervous system.We offer only the best neurologist and neurosurgeons to evaluate patients who may have neurologic autoimmune diseases and assess patients who could be good candidates of undergoing Plasmapheresis.
Specifically, it deals with the diagnosis and treatment of all categories of disease involving the central, peripheral, and autonomic nervous systems including their coverings, blood vessels, and all effect tissue, such as muscle.
Vejthani Neuroscience Centeris an integrated center of Neurological Services. This center has many experienced and qualified neurologists and neurosurgeons in different subspecialties joining forces with other paramedical and neurological nurses, technical teams and rehabilitation team. Vejthani neuroscience center offers competent out-patient and in-patient services.
Patients can be assured of receiving an excellent international level of care for both selective and emergency needs.
Vejthani Neurosciene Center is located at Vejthani Hospital, Building1, 5th Floor.
For inquiries or appointments please contact
+66 (0) 2734-0000 ext. 5400, 5444; fax: +66 (0) 2734-0000 ext 5407
or email: [email protected].