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link osteoarthritis to gene variant
Mar 25, 2007
HONG KONG (Reuters) - Researchers in Japan
have identified a gene variant that may be responsible for
osteoarthritis, a painful condition in the joints that affects more
than 200 million people worldwide.
usually happens in old age, when there is a breakdown and loss of
cartilage in the joints, leading to swelling and pain, and restricting
scientists said in the journal Nature Genetics they had analyzed DNA
from two groups of Japanese patients with hip osteoarthritis and found
that the gene variant showed up more frequently in them than in a group
that did not suffer from the disease.
variant was also found to be
significantly more frequent in both Japanese and Chinese individuals
suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee, they wrote.
is a protein that is secreted by cells and is known to be involved in
cartilage development, and lower levels of GDF5 may affect the
maintenance of cartilage in joints.
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