A former motorcycle racer, John Simper, 60, from Ipswich who had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), 26 years ago believes he could be saved from ending his life in a wheelchair.
Mr. Simper is now confident that he has been suffering from a condition known as Hughes Syndrome, which thickens the blood and slows down the brain. It was explained that this condition that had been discovered in 1993, imitates MS but has a very simple line of treatment with blood thinning drugs or aspirin.
Believing that many other people, would have also been diagnosed in the past with MS, might have Hughes Syndrome, Mr Simper has now started a campaign to make the condition better known. Simper also said that, "When I first heard about it I contacted my doctor and he had never heard of the condition."
It has been reported that more than 150,000 people in the UK have the condition, which also causes recurrent miscarriages and chronic migraine. Hughes Syndrome causes the patient to suffer from abnormal movements, dizzy spells, short-term memory loss, headaches and angina.
Mr Simper explained that his problems began after he was seriously assaulted and knocked out in 1980, he had also many numerable injuries on all parts of the body due to his many crashes and accidents as a bike racer. He stated that he went through with his doctors the process of eliminating other condition and was finally diagnosed with MS.
He said, "The tests for MS are a matter of eliminating other conditions and I had nothing else. Then a few months ago my daughter drew my attention to an article about Hughes Syndrome. I'm wary of new developments in my condition but asked my doctor about it and he had never heard of it. Now I am doing all that I can to make people aware."
He further stated, "I'm not jumping up and down with joy yet because I am going to have my first referral at St Thomas's Hospital in London, which is the main treatment centre, in October. I have spoken to neurological hospitals, other GPs and even NICE to draw attention to the condition. It could save the government millions of pounds on care and drugs if many people diagnosed with MS have Hughes Syndrome instead."
A spokeswoman from the Hughes Syndrome Foundation explained that Dr Graham Hughes, a specialist on diseases of immune system, had discovered the condition on a group of people whom he was treating for Lupus, did not fit the classic mould. She further explained that the doctor then undertook some painstaking investigative work, where in he found they all had a strange antibody in their blood that caused it to thicken and clot.
It was explained that due to this thickening, less oxygen reached the brain, body organs and the placenta in pregnant women. This there by caused various conditions like migraine, 1 in 5 recurrent miscarriages, deep vein thrombosis in young people and many others which could all be treated by aspirin, heparin injections and in more serious cases with warfarin.