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A report from France shows that infection with a bacteria called chlamydia may cause temporal arteritis, damage to the arteries in the brain associated with severe headaches and blindness.

When a person develops terrible headaches, doctors order a blood test called a sed rate to check for temporal arteritis. If the test is abnormal, or the doctor strongly suspects that a person has temporal arteritis, the doctor must prescribe a cortisone-type medication immediately to prevent blindness, but these drugs cause horrible side effects such as osteoporosis, high blood pressure, obesity and decreased immunity, and the person must stay on these drugs for a long time.

This study shows that this condition may be controlled by taking common antibiotics. If future studies can confirm that temporal arteritis is caused by an infection, antibiotics may help shorten the time that a person with this condition must take cortisone-type drugs. Also see report #G154.

Checked 8/9/05

June 1st, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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