RIP MJ – Understanding Vitiligo

First, I would like to thank you for visiting – as this blog has had more than 1,000 views since launching on April 20, 2009, less than 3 months ago.
This post will highlight the disease {vitiligo} of the late great King of Pop, Michael Jackson, may he RIP. His memorial was viewed in the thousands at Staples Center in LA, and by more than 10 million viewers on the internet via live streaming through websites like CNN and Facebook.
One of the best music videos of all time: THRILLER
In 1993 more than 100 million viewers around the world tuned in to watch Jackson talk with Oprah about his skin disease, called vitiligo. Click here to visit the NYPOST.COM blog featuring 7 video clips from that extraordinary moment.
Johnny Ramos of the National Vitiligo Foundation on a local Fox news network talking about the disease:
In the United States between 1 to 2 million people have vitiligo (leukoderma), or nearly 65 million people worldwide. Although not a rare disease or fatal disease, vitiligo often has debilitating psychological effects on those with the disorder. In some cultures there is a stigma attached to having vitiligo. Those affected with the condition are sometimes thought to be evil or diseased and are sometimes shunned by others in the community. Generally, self-confidence and self-esteem are diminished; people with vitiligo are ridiculed, and many go into self-induced seclusion. Think about the cruelty children can display on the playground and the name-calling and such that might happen to children who look different – many people with vitiligo have lived this. Unfortunately, psychological stress may even result in an individual becoming more susceptible to vitiligo.
Vitiligo is a chronic disorder that causes depigmentation in patches of skin. It occurs when the melanocytes, the cells responsible for skin pigmentation which are derived from the neural crest, die or are unable to function. The precise pathogenesis, or cause, of vitiligo is complex and not yet fully understood. There is some evidence suggesting it is caused by a combination of autoimmune, genetic, and environmental factors. It is also common in people with thyroid disorders. Vitiligo is associated with autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, commonly thyroid overexpression and underexpression. A study comparing 656 people with and without vitiligo in 114 families found several mutations (single-nucleotide polymorphisms) in the NALP1 gene. The NALP1 gene, which is on chromosome 17 located at 17p13, is on a cascade that regulates inflammation and cell death, including myeloid and lymphoid cells, which are white cells that are part of the immune response. NALP1 is expressed at high levels in T cells and Langerhan cells, white blood cells that are involved in skin autoimmunity. Some research suggests that Addison’s disease (typically an autoimmune destruction of the adrenal glands) may cause vitiligo.
The most notable symptom of vitiligo is depigmentation of patches of skin that occurs on the extremities. Although patches are initially small in size, they can often start to enlarge and change shape. When skin lesions occur, they are most prominent on the face, hands and wrists. Depigmentation is particularly noticeable around body orifices, such as the mouth, eyes, nostrils, genitalia and umbilicus. Some lesions have a tendency to hyperpigment around the edges. In a more general sense, vitiligo is similar in appearance to leprosy, and as such (in countries where leprosy is prevalent), individuals with vitiligo can be stigmatized for the similarities in appearance.
For information about treatment options, visit the Mayo Clinic website here:
American Vitiligo Research Foundation
Vitiligo Support International
National Vitiligo Foundation
Vitiligo Course by Camille Mankus
UIC School of Art and Design
AD 414 – Interactivity in Graphic Desgn, Prof. Caroline Young
[insert image]
This is a Flash based E-Learning Course on Vitiligo I did for this class. Vitiligo is a chronic disease that causes skin depigmentation. The disease promotes the development of unsightly white patches, and can severely alter ones appearance. The body’s white blood cells attacks the skin’s pigment cells due to a genetic mutation. There is no cure for vitiligo, but there are treatments available to lessen the appearance. The disease doesn’t affect one’s overall health, but can be very a difficult thing to deal with psychologically and emotionally looking different from everyone else. Visit the “more info link” site and click “Launch Course” to view in its entirety. Please excuse any kinks or lag, as I’m still working out the bugs.

First, I would like to thank you for visiting – as this blog has had more than 1,000 views since launching on April 20, 2009, less than 3 months ago.

This post will highlight the disease {vitiligo} of the late great King of Pop, Michael Jackson, may he RIP. His memorial was viewed in the thousands at Staples Center in LA, and by more than 10 million viewers on the internet via live streaming through websites like CNN and Facebook.

One of the best music videos of all time: THRILLER

In 1993 more than 100 million viewers around the world tuned in to watch Jackson talk with Oprah about his skin disease, called vitiligo. Click here to visit the NYPOST.COM blog featuring 7 video clips from that extraordinary moment.

Johnny Ramos of the National Vitiligo Foundation on a local Fox news network talking about the disease:

In the United States between 1 to 2 million people have vitiligo (leukoderma), or nearly 65 million people worldwide. Although not a rare disease or fatal disease, vitiligo often has debilitating psychological effects on those with the disorder. In some cultures there is a stigma attached to having vitiligo. Those affected with the condition are sometimes thought to be evil or diseased and are sometimes shunned by others in the community. Generally, self-confidence and self-esteem are diminished; people with vitiligo are ridiculed, and many go into self-induced seclusion. Think about the cruelty children can display on the playground and the name-calling and such that might happen to children who look different – many people with vitiligo have lived this. Unfortunately, psychological stress may even result in an individual becoming more susceptible to vitiligo.

Vitiligo is a chronic disorder that causes depigmentation in patches of skin. It occurs when the melanocytes, the cells responsible for skin pigmentation which are derived from the neural crest, die or are unable to function. The precise pathogenesis, or cause, of vitiligo is complex and not yet fully understood. There is some evidence suggesting it is caused by a combination of autoimmune, genetic, and environmental factors. It is also common in people with thyroid disorders. Vitiligo is associated with autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, commonly thyroid overexpression and underexpression. A study comparing 656 people with and without vitiligo in 114 families found several mutations (single-nucleotide polymorphisms) in the NALP1 gene. The NALP1 gene, which is on chromosome 17 located at 17p13, is on a cascade that regulates inflammation and cell death, including myeloid and lymphoid cells, which are white cells that are part of the immune response. NALP1 is expressed at high levels in T cells and Langerhan cells, white blood cells that are involved in skin autoimmunity. Some research suggests that Addison’s disease (typically an autoimmune destruction of the adrenal glands) may cause vitiligo. The most notable symptom of vitiligo is depigmentation of patches of skin that occurs on the extremities. Although patches are initially small in size, they can often start to enlarge and change shape. When skin lesions occur, they are most prominent on the face, hands and wrists. Depigmentation is particularly noticeable around body orifices, such as the mouth, eyes, nostrils, genitalia and umbilicus. Some lesions have a tendency to hyperpigment around the edges. In a more general sense, vitiligo is similar in appearance to leprosy, and as such (in countries where leprosy is prevalent), individuals with vitiligo can be stigmatized for the similarities in appearance.

For information about treatment options, visit the Mayo Clinic website.

American Vitiligo Research Foundation

Vitiligo Support International

Vitiligo Course by Camille Mankus
UIC School of Art and Design
AD 414 – Interactivity in Graphic Desgn, Prof. Caroline Young

cmanku1_20062_AD 414_p188_i618_1024

This is a Flash based E-Learning Course on Vitiligo I did for this class. Vitiligo is a chronic disease that causes skin depigmentation. The disease promotes the development of unsightly white patches, and can severely alter ones appearance. The body’s white blood cells attacks the skin’s pigment cells due to a genetic mutation. There is no cure for vitiligo, but there are treatments available to lessen the appearance. The disease doesn’t affect one’s overall health, but can be very a difficult thing to deal with psychologically and emotionally looking different from everyone else. Visit the “more info link” site and click “Launch Course” to view in its entirety. Please excuse any kinks or lag, as I’m still working out the bugs.

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~ by marbleroad on July 8, 2009.

One Response to “RIP MJ – Understanding Vitiligo”

  1. Below is the story of a girl (Darcel de Vlugt) who lost her pigment to this disease, just like Michael did. She’s also an excelent spokesperson for vitiligo:

    http://www.vitiligozone.com/News/black-girl-turned-white-due-to-vitiligo.html

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