Researchers identify genes that may predispose females to rheumatoid arthritis

November 21, 2012

Topic: orthopaedic research

Research shows doctors how to monitor RA

New orthopaedic research provides scientists another clue as to why females are more likely than males to experience rheumatoid arthritis. The condition, which is characterized by the inflammation of a joint, can be a major cause of disability in adults and some children, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

After looking at the DNA samples from approximately 27,000 patients diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, British researchers identified 14 genes that can potentially lead to the development of the joint condition, increasing the current total to 46 genes.

"This work will have a great impact on the clinical treatment of arthritis; we have already found three genes that are targets for drugs, leaving a further 43 genes with the potential for drug development, helping the third of patients who fail to respond well to current medications," said Stephen Eyre, M.D.

The researchers report that these findings may help them develop a drug that targets the newly discovered genes to ultimately improve the lives of arthritis patients.

The results of this study were published in the journal Nature Genetics. 

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