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Muckle-Wells Syndrome (MWS) has been recognized for over 50 years. Two doctors, Thomas Muckle and Michael Wells, first recognized MWS in a family in the early 1960s. Since then, doctors around the world have learned much more about MWS.

This genetic disorder is a more severe subtype of Cryopyrin-Associated Periodic Syndromes (CAPS) than Familial Cold Autoinflammatory Syndrome (FCAS). The symptoms of FCAS may also be experienced in patients suffering from MWS, but MWS symptoms occur more often and episodes may be more severe and last longer.

Like the other genetic disease subtypes of CAPS, MWS is caused by abnormalities in the gene NLRP3. This gene normally helps the body develop a protein called cryopyrin. Cryopyrin allows the body to deal with inflammation.

People who have MWS may, from time to time, experience skin rashes, fever, and joint pain. What’s more, someone with MWS may also have

  • Protein buildup in the kidneys (amyloidosis), which can affect how the kidneys work and may lead to kidney failure in serious cases
  • Gradual loss of hearing, starting in adolescence

MWS treatments are available.