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Giant Cell Arteritis News

Study Ties Shingles Virus to Dangerous Blood Vessel Disease in Elderly

Posted 18 Feb 2015 by

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 18, 2015 – New research links the virus behind chickenpox and shingles to a blood vessel condition that afflicts the elderly and can sometimes be deadly. The study doesn't prove that the so-called varicella zoster virus causes the condition, known as giant cell arteritis. But study author Dr. Don Gilden, a professor of neurology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Aurora, said the findings suggest that the standard treatment of steroids, which reduce inflammation, aren't enough on their own. "You need to treat the virus and the inflammation that goes along with it," he said. "This is totally new." That means patients with the condition should take antiviral medications to fight off the chickenpox virus, he added. About 30 cases of giant cell arteritis appear in every 100,000 people each year, Gilden said, or about 300 cases in a city of one million. By ... Read more

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