My 89 year old mum lost her sight literally overnight in January to GCA, she was diagnosed in 2009 with PMR but her symptoms were relieved by a 2 week course of Prednisolone and as she had no further problems we had no reason to think any more about it.
Following her first visit to Rheumatology a few months ago the doctor asked her if she would be prepared to take part in a study to which she happily agreed. We have been to our local Research & Development department today and as the study consists of just a one off visit to answer a series of questions and a blood test I wanted to raise awareness in the event other people might be interested in taking part.
It is a voluntary trial and the Chief Investigator is Professor Ann Morgan at Leeds University but I'm guessing you will need to be invited by a doctor or nurse, although I don't know if all hospitals are taking part.
The purpose of the study is to find out more about the causes and how to predict if someone with one of the conditions will be more severely or only mildly affected, it is hoped the findings will help others in the future and lead to better treatments with fewer side effects than the steroid treatment that is currently standard.
Hopefully to also raise awareness, we had never heard of GCA and may have been able to save mums sight if we had known what symptoms to look out for and she wouldn't have had to go into residential care.