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The World in Medicine
September 13, 2000

Behçet Society Formed

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JAMA. 2000;284(10):1235. doi:10.1001/jama.284.10.1235-JWM00007-4-1

A multidisciplinary group of experts from around the world recently formed the International Society for Behçet's Disease. According to its organizers, the society was formed to advance knowledge of the etiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis, natural history, clinical features, and treatment of the illness. Behçet disease, which affects twice as many men as women, is a chronic inflammatory disease that generally causes painful, recurrent ulcerations in the mouth. Symptoms also include skin blisters, swelling in the joints, and genital ulcerations. Inflammation from Behçet disease may occur in the gastrointestinal tract, blood vessels, and eyes. Severe cases can be fatal.

While some people develop the illness in childhood, it usually strikes young adults in their 20s. At highest risk of developing the disease are people of Mediterranean, Korean, and Japanese descent. No cause has been determined, but the disorder may have viral or autoimmune underpinnings.

For more information on the new society or the 10th International Congress on Behçet's Disease, scheduled for June 27-29, 2002, in Berlin, Germany, contact Professor Hasan Yazici in Istanbul, Turkey, at hyazici@attglobal.net.