The term amyloidosis is a generic term used for a group of conditions where an abnormal protein, called amyloid, is produced.
AL amyloidosis is a condition in which an abnormal protein, usually produced by cells in the bone marrow, deposits and accumulates in the tissues and organs of the body.
Bone marrow is a specialised tissue found in the hollow centres of certain bones. Bone marrow contains stem cells which divide to produce the main types of blood cell: red blood cells, white blood cells (including plasma cells) and platelets.
In AL amyloidosis, abnormal plasma cells in the bone marrow produce an abnormal protein. This abnormal protein is broken down only very slowly by the body. This results in the deposition and subsequent build-up of this protein in the tissues and organs, disrupting their function. The deposited proteins are called amyloid and the condition is called AL amyloidosis.
Amyloid deposits can build up almost anywhere in the body. Each patient has a different pattern of amyloid deposition, with different organs affected.
AL amyloidosis is a relatively rare condition, with approximately 500 – 600 people diagnosed in the UK each year. Treatments for AL amyloidosis can be very effective at halting its progress; however, there is, as yet, no cure.
|Understanding AL amyloidosis
|Treating AL amyloidosis
|Prof Giampaolo Merlini
|Ken Mantel - my AL amyloidosis
|Steffi Callan - my AL amyloidosis
Myeloma UK provides a range of specific Infoguides which covers all aspects of AL Amyloidois. You will find these in the AL Amyloidosis library.