Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

All in the family: Lower back disease may be in your genes

03.02.2011
New study indicates predisposition to lumbar disc disease could be inherited

Symptomatic lumbar disc disease, a condition caused by degeneration or herniation of the discs of the lower spine, may be inherited, according to a new study published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (JBJS).

"Previous studies, including studies of twin siblings and subsequent genetic marker studies, have suggested a genetic predisposition for the development of symptomatic lumbar disc disease but have been limited by a small number of patients," noted study author Alpesh A. Patel, MD FACS, assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery at the University of Utah School of Medicine. "The results of this study provide evidence based on a population of more than 2 million people, indicating that there likely is a genetic component in the development of this disease. Additionally, the factors that differentiate a symptomatic disc from a non-painful disc may also be affected by genetics."

Study Details:

The researchers used data contained in the Utah Population Database, a public information repository containing health and genealogic data of more than 2 million Utah residents, examining health and family records of 1,264 individuals with lumbar disc disease, defined as either lumbar disc degeneration or lumbar disc herniation.

To measure how closely patients were related, the researchers used the Genealogical Index of Familiaity, which compares the average relatedness of affected individuals with expected relatedness in the general population.

Relatedness is measured by generations or degrees:

first-degree relatives (or immediate family) including parents, offspring and siblings;

second-degree including grandchildren, grandparents, uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, and half-siblings; and

third-degree comprising great-grandchildren, great-grandparents, great-aunts and great-uncles, grandnieces and grandnephews and first cousins.

In this study, only patients with at least three generations of genealogical data in the database were included.

The researchers also determined and calculated the Relative Risk (RR) for relatives. This measure defines the risk of lumbar disc disease among family members of patients compared to individuals without disease.

Important Findings:
Individuals with lumbar disc disease were more likely to have family members with disc disease.
Relative risk for lumbar disc disease was significantly elevated in both close and distant relatives.

The combination of the two findings, given the large patient population, strongly supports a genetic basis to symptomatic lumbar disc disease.

"Although excess risk in the immediate family might indicate evidence of a genetic contribution, it could also simply indicate shared environment risks or household exposure that may be contributing to the disease," Dr. Patel noted. "Conversely, excess risks in second and third-degree relatives strongly support a genetic contribution to disease, given the measurable genetic sharing in these more distant relatives and the relative absence of shared household risks."

"There are limitations to our study. We could not measure disease severity or response to treatment. Furthermore, the population of Utah is genetically representative of a US or North European background. As such, this study does not prove a purely genetic basis for disease but suggests that it may play an important role." Dr. Patel noted. "With additional data, this hypothesis can be tested with larger sample sizes."

According to data from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), back pain is a common problem, and in 2008, attracted more than 12 million physician visits. Dr. Patel said identifying the factors that contribute to the disease can have far-reaching implications.

"Lumbar disc disease is likely due to a number of factors, including mechanical stresses to the spine, age-dependent disc degeneration, biochemical factors and genetics," he said. "This study identified an inheritable predisposition to the development of symptomatic lumbar disc disease and also identified high-risk families in the Utah population, which can be studied to identify genes responsible for this predisposition. Identification of these specific genes may help in the future development of drugs or other interventions to prevent and/or treat lumbar disc disease in the public at large."

Disclosure: The study authors have nothing related to this study to disclose.

Lauren Pearson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.aaos.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft

nachricht Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

Im Focus: Silencing bacteria

HZI researchers pave the way for new agents that render hospital pathogens mute

Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...

Im Focus: Artificial Enzymes for Hydrogen Conversion

Scientists from the MPI for Chemical Energy Conversion report in the first issue of the new journal JOULE.

Cell Press has just released the first issue of Joule, a new journal dedicated to sustainable energy research. In this issue James Birrell, Olaf Rüdiger,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

New quantum phenomena in graphene superlattices

19.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A simple additive to improve film quality

19.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>