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Eyes on Graves’ Initiative Urges Action for People with Graves’ Disease and Thyroid Eye Disease

Warning signs of Graves' disease and thyroid eye disease -- know the symptoms and take action. (Graphic: Business Wire)

RANCHO SANTA FE, Calif. & DUBLIN--(BUSINESS WIRE)--

- Initiative coincides with Graves’ Disease Awareness Month and the launch of oneGRAVESvoice.com, a new online resource from the Graves’ Disease and Thyroid Foundation for patients, caregivers and physicians –

Today marks the launch of a new patient empowerment and disease education initiative called Eyes on Graves’, created to bring attention, education and resources to people living with Graves’ disease and/or thyroid eye disease (TED). In time for Graves’ Disease Awareness Month in July, Eyes on Graves’ was created through a new collaboration called the Graves’ and TED Council – a group of people living with both diseases and their loved ones whose mission is to raise awareness and understanding of Graves’ disease and TED among physicians, patients and caregivers, leading to improved care and patient support. Eyes on Graves’ is supported by the Graves’ Disease and Thyroid Foundation (GDATF) and Horizon Therapeutics.

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“Since Graves’ disease presents differently in all types of people and the symptoms mirror other common diseases, it is one of the most overlooked, hard to diagnose and challenging diseases – and thyroid eye disease poses a whole host of other challenges that can drive patients out of work, out of their social circles, and leave them with long-term vision loss,” said Kimberly Dorris, executive director, Graves’ Disease and Thyroid Foundation. “We are excited by the efforts launching in July, including a new website the GDATF is managing called oneGRAVESvoice.com, which will provide scientifically vetted information, as well as the ability for people living with Graves’ or TED to interact with others who understand what they are going through.”

Graves’ disease is an autoimmune disease that causes the thyroid gland to produce an excess amount of thyroid hormones. These hormones control a variety of bodily functions, from metabolism and breathing, to heart rate, body temperature and cognitive emotions.1 Common symptoms of Graves’ disease include anxiety, tremors, heat sensitivity, weight loss, hair loss, change in menstrual cycle and irregular heartbeat – many of which are present in other diseases, leading to misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis.2

Up to half of Graves’ patients also develop TED – a related but distinct autoimmune disease that has potentially long-term consequences impacting vision.3 Common symptoms of TED include dry eyes, redness and inflammation, sensitivity to light, eyelid retraction, misalignment of the eyes, blurred vision, double vision, irreversible disfigurement and vision loss, including potential blindness.4

“In the process of meeting others living with Graves’ disease and thyroid eye disease and helping to create Eyes on Graves’, I learned so much from what others have been through and how they handle their struggles associated with these diseases,” said LaQuilla H., a member of the Graves’ and TED Council who was diagnosed with both TED and Graves’ disease. “Because of my thyroid eye disease, I had to quit my job and required eight surgeries to regain some of my vision after being legally blind for many years. My hope is that others can learn from my story and have a less difficult path to walk.”

“Our team at Horizon is working to advance research for rare diseases, including thyroid eye disease,” said Timothy Walbert, chairman, president and chief executive officer, Horizon. “Through these efforts, we’ve had the opportunity to meet with patients, their families, advocates and physicians, learning that there is a major need to increase awareness of both Graves’ disease and thyroid eye disease. We are proud to support the Eyes on Graves’ initiative, which we hope will lead to more people finding the support and care they need.”

About Eyes on Graves’

Eyes on Graves’ features real stories from those who have experienced the debilitating effects of both Graves’ disease and TED – two related, yet distinct diseases. Videos, blogs and an infographic are available for sharing on social media, and are designed to help people recognize signs and symptoms and find support.

About oneGRAVESvoice.com

oneGRAVESvoice is an interactive online destination managed by the GDATF. The website provides people living with Graves’ disease and/or TED – or those who suspect that they may have these diseases – with a comprehensive resource hub, offering a wealth of trusted resources, first-hand perspectives from patients, and forums for real-time discussion and connections. Horizon supports the mission of oneGRAVESvoice and has provided financial support for this platform. Horizon neither owns or controls this platform, and unless expressly stated otherwise, does not have editorial control over content or responsibility for any other information or services.

About the Graves’ Disease and Thyroid Foundation

The Graves’ Disease and Thyroid Foundation (GDATF) is the leading source of help and hope for people with Graves’ disease and other thyroid related disorders. The organization provides education and support for patients, family members, caregivers, friends and healthcare professionals. GDATF has helped thousands of patients better understand the symptoms and treatment programs for Graves' disease. The Foundation is a 501 C(3) tax-exempt non-profit international charitable organization. For more information visit www.GDATF.org, and find us on Twitter (@GDATF), Facebook and Instagram.

About Horizon

Horizon is focused on researching, developing and commercializing medicines that address critical needs for people impacted by rare and rheumatic diseases. Our pipeline is purposeful: we apply scientific expertise and courage to bring clinically meaningful therapies to patients. We believe science and compassion must work together to transform lives. For more information on how we go to incredible lengths to impact lives, please visit www.horizontherapeutics.com, follow us @HorizonNews on Twitter, like us on Facebook or explore career opportunities on LinkedIn.

References

  1. About Graves’ Disease. Graves’ Disease & Thyroid Foundation. 2019. https://www.gdatf.org/about/about-graves-disease/. Accessed June 17, 2019
  2. Graves’ Disease. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. 2019. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/endocrine-diseases/graves-disease. Accessed June 17, 2019
  3. Graves' Ophthalmopathy. The New England Journal of Medicine. 25 February 2010. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMra0905750. Accessed June 19, 2019.
  4. Graves’ Ophthalmopathy: VISA versus EUGOGO Classification, Assessment, and Management. Journal of Ophthalmology. 2015. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/joph/2015/249125/cta. Page 2. Accessed June 17, 2019.

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