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ecbacm
@ecbacm

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Joined: Feb 18, 2018

Rheumatoid Arthritis, Felty's Syndrome and prednisone

Posted by @ecbacm, Sun, Feb 18 2:00pm

My mother had RA and prescribed prednisone. She developed Feltys. She was hospitalized with pneumonia twice, her spleen was swollen at times. Her immune system was not functional at all. She developed leukopenia. Then her RA went into remission. Then she had an episode (we thought she had a stroke, her doctor said she did not), she was hospitalized with pneumonia again, put into a coma for 2 weeks. When she came out of her coma, she had to learn how to walk and talk again. She eventually went back to her life, but she was different. She started acting very odd and very forgetful. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. When this began, she was 61. When she died, she was 77. Could the prednisone have caused her Alzheimers?

REPLY

@ecbacm this from the Mayo Clinic website: https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/prednisone-oral-route/before-using/drg-20075269, suggests that no studies have contraindicated the use of predisone in geriatrics. However, we have all heard of "roid rage" and while it is a prescribed steroid to treat many conditions, one has to wonder what effect any type of repeated or continued use of it would affect the brain. I have no real knowledge and certainly no medical training, just trying to follow a line of logic. I don't know if that makes any sense, but it's my best shot. It would be great if someone who has taken more than one round at a later age could offer us some knowledge?

Hello @ecbacm nice to e-meet you here. I am sorry to hear of your mother's health travails. I am Scott, and while I am not any kind of medical professional, I did work for the research group of the Alzheimer's Association for some years. I was never aware of any discussions regarding prednisone causing Alzheimer's. In face, if I recall correctly sometime back in the 1990s there was actually a study undertaken to see if prednisone was effective in combating Alzheimer's disease — as they were looking into the effects of inflammation and Alzheimer's. The study found no value in their theory.

Sorry I can't be of more help.

Prednisone is a drug that has helped people with many health issues, and would have been a god-send if it had been shown to be beneficial for Alzheimer's! My grandson was 2 years old when he was diagnosed with PFAPA and Mayo prescribed prednisone for him whenever he'd have an episode. He will be soon be 5 years old and prednisone almost completely cancels out every attack – a normal life was restored to him (and his parents).

@nobletype

Hi – My cousin has recently been diagnosed with Felty's Syndrome after years of suffering and searching for answers for her symptoms. She most recently was admitted into ICU in Tennessee for an unknown infection, high fevers of unknown origin, has struggled with rheumatoid disease for years, multiple bouts of pneumonia, an enlarged spleen and elevated white count. As Felty's Syndrome is a rare autoimmune disorder, we have been unsuccessful in our search for someone who has also been diagnosed who might be able to share anything that may help with her symptoms, coping, advise, etc. She lives in a very, VERY rural area of Tennessee and referrals and extended healthcare in the area is limited. I am currently a patient of Mayo in the gastroenterology department and was hoping I might be able to reach someone through this group. Thank you for your help or insight.

Jump to this post

Hello @nobletype, I did a search of Connect and only found one other discussion on Felty's Syndrome. I'm tagging @kanaazpereira who may also have some suggestions. Here is a link to the discussion:

Groups > Autoimmune Diseases > Rheumatoid Arthritis, Felty's Syndrome and prednisone
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/alzhiemers/

I also found some other information on Felty's Syndrome.

NIH – Felty's syndrome
https://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/diseases/8234/feltys-syndrome

National Organization for Rare Disorders – Felty Syndrome
https://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/felty-syndrome/

Also, there is another discussion on Rheumatoid arthritis questions that you might want to post any question you might have here:
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/rheumatoid-arthritis-questions/

@nobletype, has your cousin's doctors offered any treatment plan?

John

Hi – My cousin has recently been diagnosed with Felty's Syndrome after years of suffering and searching for answers for her symptoms. She most recently was admitted into ICU in Tennessee for an unknown infection, high fevers of unknown origin, has struggled with rheumatoid disease for years, multiple bouts of pneumonia, an enlarged spleen and elevated white count. As Felty's Syndrome is a rare autoimmune disorder, we have been unsuccessful in our search for someone who has also been diagnosed who might be able to share anything that may help with her symptoms, coping, advise, etc. She lives in a very, VERY rural area of Tennessee and referrals and extended healthcare in the area is limited. I am currently a patient of Mayo in the gastroenterology department and was hoping I might be able to reach someone through this group. Thank you for your help or insight.

Hi @nobletype,

I moved your discussion to this conversation as I thought it would be beneficial for you to be introduced to @ecbacm whose mother developed Felty’s syndrome.
If you click on VIEW & REPLY in your email notification, you will see the whole discussion and can join in, meet, and participate with other members talking about their or their loved ones' experiences.

I’ve copied a bit of information from the NIH site that @johnbishop provided, with regard to finding a specialist for this condition:

“…doctors or other healthcare professionals who have experience with this disease. You may find these specialists through advocacy organizations, clinical trials, or articles published in medical journals. You may also want to contact a university or tertiary medical center in your area, because these centers tend to see more complex cases and have the latest technology and treatments.”

From online research, it seems a rheumatologist would be the best specialist to consult; has your cousin been seen by one?

Thank you so much for this info. I will pass along. So much appreciated

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