Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS)

Hughes syndrome, sticky blood syndrome

What is antiphospholipid syndrome (APS)?

APS is an autoimmune condition that makes the blood stickier than normal, causing an increased risk of blood clots.

What causes APS?

It is unclear why the abnormal antibodies that result in antiphospholipid syndrome are produced but it is thought to be due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Research has found that having a family member with these abnormal antibodies does increase a person’s chance of also having them, and faulty genes that result in other autoimmune conditions such as lupus may play a role. Environmental factors such as viral and bacterial infections can also trigger antiphospholipid syndrome.

Although there is no cure, the risk of developing blood clots can be reduced with treatment. To receive a diagnosis of APS, blood tests must be carried out by your GP.

What are the symptoms of antiphospholipid syndrome?

Symptoms of APS include:

  • Fatigue
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Balance and mobility difficulties
  • Memory problems.

Are you affected by antiphospholipid syndrome?

If you’re affected by APS, The Brain Charity can support you.

We are the only charity in the UK to be here for every one of the more than 600 different neurological conditions in existence. Individually, many are rare, but combined, they affect 1 in 6 people.

We provide practical help on all aspects of living with antiphospholipid syndrome, emotional support such as counselling, phone befriending and group therapy and social activities to people with antiphospholipid syndrome from all over the UK from our centre in Liverpool.

Looking to talk to someone?

Woman smiling, making eye contact and holding the hand of another woman to comfort her

Phone us

Contact The Brain Charity now

Our friendly Information & Advice Officers are here to help. We endeavour to respond to all enquiries within 10 working days.

0151 298 2999

Looking to talk to someone?

  • Please tell us which neurological condition you are affected by and what you need support with.

Caring for someone with antiphospholipid syndrome

APS can affect people of all ages, including children and babies.

Living with APS requires some lifestyle changes: it is a good idea to encourage someone affected by this condition to eat a healthy balanced diet, exercise and stop smoking if applicable.

We support carers, friends and family too

Are you a carer for or relative of someone with antiphospholipid syndrome? It’s just as important for you to look after your own physical and mental wellbeing too.

The Brain Charity provides free support for carers, friends and family of people with any form of neurological condition, including antiphospholipid syndrome, from anywhere in the UK.

We also run an additional carers advocacy service for all carers in Liverpool, regardless of which type of condition the person they care for has.

You don’t need to be a formal or registered carer

We can help you even if you don’t view yourself as a formal carer or claim Carer’s Allowance. Find out some of the ways we support carers below.

Other resources

The Brain Charity's library

The Brain Charity's library has a range of resources on APS

Visit our library to read:

Or search the catalogue online here.

Support groups

Antiphospholipid Syndrome UK

Support groups at The Brain Charity

Are you interested in setting up an APS support group, or do you already run one? Email to let us know.

Alternatively, you can check out our list of related support groups here.

Other charities

APS Support UK (charity offering support to anyone affected by antiphospholipid syndrome)