Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

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

16.11.2005


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:
http://www.manchester.ac.uk

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

nachricht Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology

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: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Physicists discover mechanism behind granular capillary effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Measured for the first time: Direction of light waves changed by quantum effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>