Amyloidosis is a group of diseases in which an abnormal protein called amyloid builds up in the organs and tissues. This protein is soluble in its normal form, but it becomes insoluble and starts to build up when it is misfolded (misshaped).The buildup may happen in a single organ (localized) or throughout the body (systemically). Amyloid deposits can affect any organ or tissue.

There are three major types of systemic amyloidosis:

Localized amyloidosis is associated with aging, as the body seems to naturally make amyloid as it ages. Different abnormal proteins or protein fragments may be involved. Two common conditions associated with localized amyloidosis are type 2 diabetes (where protein builds up in the pancreas) and Alzheimer's disease (where protein builds up in the brain). Beta2-microglobulin amyloidosis occurs in people with kidney failure who have been on dialysis for a long time (beta2 -microglobulin is a protein that can build up in the blood and joints as a result of kidney failure).

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Review Date: 4/9/2018  

Reviewed By: Steven D. Ehrlich, NMD, Solutions Acupuncture, a private practice specializing in complementary and alternative medicine, Phoenix, AZ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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