What Is AL (Light Chain) Amyloidosis?

Amyloidosis is a rare disease that occurs when the body produces an abnormal protein called amyloid. This protein can build up in your organs and disrupt their normal function.1 There are several types of amyloidosis, and AL (light chain) amyloidosis is the most common in the United States.

In AL amyloidosis, the body produces an abnormal amyloid protein in bone marrow, which is normally responsible for creating immunoglobulins (also called antibodies, proteins that fight infections). In addition to producing antibodies, abnormal amyloid proteins are produced and then travel throughout the body, gradually causing damage to tissues, nerves, and organs.2

AL amyloidosis symptoms can be unique in every patient, and impact to organs and body function may vary from patient to patient. The most common symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness, and weight loss – though symptoms will vary depending on where the amyloid proteins are causing damage. Patients are treated both to alleviate their symptoms and to target the cause of the disease.2

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  1. amyloidosis.org/facts
  2. amyloidosis.org/facts/al