Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers find possible genetic link for pelvic floor disorders

27.04.2009
Gene on chromosome 9 may predispose some women to pelvic floor defects

University of Utah researchers have identified a region of the human genome that may contribute to the development of pelvic floor disorders such as pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence, according to a study published this week in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

Kristina Allen-Brady, Ph.D., and colleagues at the University of Utah School of Medicine analyzed the DNA of 70 women from 32 families with at least two cases of pelvic floor disorders (PFD) and found significant evidence for a gene that predisposes to PFD on chromosome 9.

"PFDs are a major public health concern for women of all ages," says Allen-Brady, research assistant professor of genetic epidemiology in biomedical informatics and lead author of the study. "Previous research has found that women with urinary incontinence are more likely to have family members with incontinence, but the genetic factors that predispose to PFD are not well understood."

An estimated one-third of all U.S. women are affected by some type of PFD, such as pelvic organ prolapse (POP) or urinary incontinence, during her lifetime. The pelvic floor refers to the network of muscles, ligaments, and connective tissues that keeps all of a woman's pelvic organs in place. PFDs occur when these muscles and tissues weaken or are injured. One in nine women will undergo surgery for PFD, and one-third of these women will require repeated surgeries.

Risk factors such as childbirth, increased age, smoking, and obesity may contribute to PFD, but they do not fully explain the development of these disorders. To better understand the genetics of PFD, Allen-Brady and her colleagues identified 32 families which included at least two closely-related female relatives affected by POP. In POP, the uterus, bladder, or other pelvic organ drops down and protrudes abnormally because supporting tissues are weakened.

The researchers studied DNA from a total of 70 women who received treatment, usually surgery, for moderate-to-severe POP. Genetic analysis of this DNA showed significant evidence that genes located in a region of the genome called chromosome 9q21 may be inherited together in related women who have POP.

"This is the largest collection of families with POP that has been reported to date," says Allen-Brady. "Although it is premature to suggest that all PFDs have a common genetic predisposition, our study shows significant evidence that the chromosome 9q21 region may be linked to the development of PFD in families where multiple women are affected."

The researchers are in the process of collecting and analyzing DNA from other families that seem to be at high risk for PFDs in order to strengthen their conclusions. Although PFDs are likely a disease caused by both genetic and environmental factors, further evidence that the chromosome 9q21 region is linked to PFD can direct efforts at narrowing down and identifying a gene that is responsible for disease development.

Confirmation of genetic susceptibility could provide insight into the underlying disease process of PFD and potential ways to prevent this common condition.

Allen-Brady's co-authors on this study were Lisa A. Cannon-Albright, Ph.D., senior author and professor of biomedical informatics; Peggy A. Norton, M.D., professor of obstetrics and gynecology and chief of urognyecology; and James M. Farnham, biostatistician, and Craig Teerlink, doctoral student, both of the Department of Biomedical Informatics.

The project was funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development.

Phil Sahm | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.utah.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Rutgers scientists discover 'Legos of life'
23.01.2018 | Rutgers University

nachricht Researchers identify a protein that keeps metastatic breast cancer cells dormant
23.01.2018 | Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Optical Nanoscope Allows Imaging of Quantum Dots

Physicists have developed a technique based on optical microscopy that can be used to create images of atoms on the nanoscale. In particular, the new method allows the imaging of quantum dots in a semiconductor chip. Together with colleagues from the University of Bochum, scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute reported the findings in the journal Nature Photonics.

Microscopes allow us to see structures that are otherwise invisible to the human eye. However, conventional optical microscopes cannot be used to image...

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rutgers scientists discover 'Legos of life'

23.01.2018 | Life Sciences

Seabed mining could destroy ecosystems

23.01.2018 | Earth Sciences

Transportable laser

23.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>