Hughes Syndrome is a condition which mainly affects people (women more than men) in the 20-50 year old age range. In the Uk alone, it's estmated that Hughes syndrome affects 1 in 200 people.
Known medically as the antiphospholipid syndrome and more colloquially as 'sticky blood', Hughes syndrome is an auto-immune disease which affects the blood and its ability to clot. An overactive immune system produces antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL) which cause the blood to clot too quickly both in veins and arteries.
In pregnancy, the antibodies can cause miscarriage, pre-eclampsia, small babies, early deliveries and stillbirth. The clotting can affect any vein, artery or organ in the body and the consequences can include potentially fatal conditions such as heart attacks, strokes, and DVT. As blood flows through the entire body, Hughes syndrome can present a wide variety of symptoms, not all of them as serious as stroke or heart attack.
The good news is that Hughes syndrome is both potentially preventable and treatable if recognised in time. However, as the condition is relatively new in medical terms, much more research is needed into the causes, effects and treatments.
Early diagnosis of Hughes syndrome is crucial for patients, and the Hughes Syndrome Foundation aims to raise awareness amongst both the medical profession and the general public to achieve earlier diagnosis and the best treatment for patients.
For information on symptoms and how to recognise early signs of the condition, visit the Hughes Syndrome Foundation website.