Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


New study to find cause of ex-PM’s hand disease


A crippling condition that can result in sufferers losing their fingers is to be investigated by scientists in one of the most detailed studies into the genetic causes of the disease ever carried out.

Dupuytren’s disease or contracture, a condition that affects the hands and sometimes the feet and penis, occurs gradually, beginning with a small, sometimes tender lump in the palm.

Over time, tough bands of tissue or cords can form that force the fingers, most commonly the small and ring fingers, to curl towards the palm.

The only treatment currently available to sufferers, including former British Prime Minister Lady Thatcher, is surgical removal of the excess tissue growth, which provides some respite from the onset of the disease.

But scientists at The University of Manchester want to look at the genetic influences behind the disease in the hope that a cure can be developed.

“Some of the characteristics of the condition are very peculiar,” said Dr Ardeshir Bayat, the academic surgeon within the University’s Centre for Integrated Genomic Medical Research who is leading the research.

“It mainly affects people of north European or Scandinavian descent and runs in families, so we know there is a genetic link involved.

“We have already identified a couple of genes that contribute to the disease but we want to extend that research to look at the entire human gene map or genome.”

Named after Baron Dupuytren, the 19th Century French surgeon who first described it, the disease can affect both sexes but is most prevalent amongst men over the age of 40.

In the UK and the US, epidemiological studies have suggested that Dupuytren’s disease can affect between five and 15% of men over the age of 50.

“We’re interested in finding the cause of the disease by understanding the way it develops, its pathogenesis; only then will we be able to look for a potential cure,” said Dr Bayat.

“At present, cutting out the diseased tissue is the only option but even then you are not eradicating the disease, it still comes back.

“It’s not a lethal condition but its effects can still be devastating, leading to severe loss of hand function and, in extreme cases, amputation of the affected digits becomes necessary.

“The problem, like with other disabling diseases that are not life-threatening, is a lack of research funding; only through public and corporate donations, often by people who have been affected by the disease in some way, can we continue our work.”

Aeron Haworth | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

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: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Greater Range and Longer Lifetime

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VDI presents International Bionic Award of the Schauenburg Foundation

26.10.2016 | Awards Funding

3-D-printed magnets

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>