A study by the University of Manchester has identified DNA specific to the female X chromosome which could trigger Arthritis.
A cure for Arthritis could be within reach after scientists discovered 14 of the genes that lead to Arthritis.
It may explain why 3x more women than men are hit by rheumatoid arthritis, which is the most crippling form of the condition. And it has been announced that new drugs are set to be developed which could effectively turn off the illness. According to statistics, Rheumatoid arthritis affects more than 400,000 people in Britain and approx. 1% of the world’s population. And is described as a complicated disease with lifestyle and environmental factors such as: Smoking, Diet, Pregnancy and Infection. However, a person’s genetic make-up also influences their susceptibility to getting Arthritis.
Scientists at the University of Manchester now think they know and found most of the disease-causing genes.
The study has identified genes specific to the female X-chromosome – which could explain why 3x more women than men develop Arthritis.
Study author Dr Stephen Eyre said: “This work will have a great impact on the treatment of arthritis.
"We have already found three genes that are targets for drugs, leaving 43 genes with the potential for drug development, helping the third of patients who fail to respond well to current medications.
“Although patients who first present at clinic have similar symptoms, it is likely that their route to developing disease has involved a varied path,
“The genetic findings can help divide patients into smaller groups with more similar types of rheumatoid arthritis and assist in the allocation of therapies and disease management.”
The team studied 27,000 DNA samples to identify the new genes and move closer to improving the lives of rheumatoid arthritis sufferers.
Prof Jane Worthington, an expert on the issue, added: “This groundbreaking study brought together scientists from around the world and involved the use of DNA samples from more than 27,000 patients with rheumatoid arthritis and healthy controls.
“We now know that genetic variations at over 45 regions of the genome determine susceptibility to this form of arthritis.
“Our future work will focus on understanding how the simple genetic changes alter normal biological processes and lead to disease.
"Ultimately, this will help us to develop novel therapies and improved targeting of existing drugs.”
For more information on this study, please click on the following links: