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Blame your parents!!

Here’s an interesting article from today’s Daily Telegraph. We have always known that genetic factors are important in the development of arthritis, but this study has found some very precise correlations. Work like this will help us to tailor treatment to individual patients, and hopefully improve outcomes for everybody.

Arthritis was once thought to be a disease caused by age or injury, with the muscles weakening and the joints slowly wearing out over time, but a new study suggests the condition may actually be hereditary.

Scientists at the Wellcome Sanger Institute and Sheffield University have found nine genes which are associated with arthritis, suggesting some people are simply more naturally susceptible to aching joints than others. Eleni Zengini, joint first author from the University of Sheffield, said: ‘These results are an important step towards understanding the genetic causes of osteoarthritis and take us closer to uncovering the mechanisms behind the disease. Once we know that, it opens the door to developing new therapies for this debilitating disease.’

Some 8.5 million people in Britain suffer from osteoarthritis, a degenerative disease where joints become damaged, painful and stiff. There is currently no treatment aside from surgery to replace worn out knees and hips or managing the pain with drugs.

In the largest study of its kind, which was published in the journal Nature Genetics, scientists investigated how genes, diseases and other traits, such as obesity. Scientists studied the DNA of more than 330,000 people to find out why some people got arthritis. After studying the DNA of 30,727 people with osteoarthritis and nearly 300,000 people without the condition, scientists discovered nine new genes common to those with painful joints. The genes appear to affect how successfully tissue can heal itself once damaged by age or injury.

Dr Natalie Carter, Head of research liaison & evaluation at Arthritis Research UK, said: ‘The discovery of these genes is positive news for the 8.5 million people in the UK living with osteoarthritis. People living with this debilitating condition currently have limited treatment options. Meanwhile, they can struggle to do the day-to-day things most of us take for granted, like going to work or getting dressed independently. By revealing how these genes contribute to osteoarthritis, this research could open the door for new treatments to help millions of people live the pain free life they deserve.’

The team also found that obesity causes arthritis but discovered that the mineral density of bones does not impact the risk of joint problems. Type 2 diabetes also does not raise the risk of arthritis, the researchers found. Dr Konstantinos Hatzikotoulas, joint first author from the Wellcome Sanger Institute, said: ‘Using genetic data, we have shown that type 2 diabetes and increased blood lipid levels do not appear to be on the causal path to osteoarthritis. We also reconfirmed that obesity is on the causal path to osteoarthritis.’

The findings were published in the journal Nature Genetics

 

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    Hip resurfacing was developed to treat painful arthritis in younger and active patients. It’s now an established technique, and the results are usually excellent in carefully selected patients…

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    Hip replacement surgery can be life changing for those dealing with pain on a daily basis. Unfortunately, even a replacement hip can wear out…

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  • Hip Replacement

    Total Hip Replacement or THR is one of the most successful hip operations in orthopaedic surgery. Thousands of hip replacements are performed each year…

    Click here to find out more
  • Hip Resurfacing

    Hip resurfacing was developed to treat painful arthritis in younger and active patients. It’s a relatively new technique, but the results are usually excellent…

    Click here to find out more
  • Revision Hip Surgery

    Hip replacement surgery can be life changing for those dealing with pain on a daily basis. Unfortunately, even a replacement hip can wear out…

    Click here to find out more