Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New genetic study sheds light on serious childhood disease

09.01.2009
Genetic variations that can predispose children to a serious disease that damages the heart have been identified in a genome-wide association study of Kawasaki Disease, published today in PLoS Genetics.

The disease, the cause of which is currently unknown, is a rare and severe childhood disorder that occurs mainly in young children. It is the most common cause of childhood acquired heart disease in developed countries.

The disease is more common in Japanese children and those of Asian descent, but it is found in all ethnic groups, affecting around 1 in 10,000 children of Caucasian descent.

The new study identifies variations in 31 genes which appear to increase a child’s risk of developing Kawasaki Disease.

The findings will enable scientists to develop more effective ways of tackling the disease, by revealing new targets for treatment, say the researchers, from Imperial College London, the University of Western Australia, the Genome Institute of Singapore, Emma Childrens Hospital, Netherlands, and the University of San Diego California.

Some of the variations identified appear in genes that work together to control signalling between immune cells and heart cells. The researchers are planning to carry out further work to understand how these mutations contribute to the disease.

Epidemiological studies suggest that Kawasaki Disease is triggered by an as yet unidentified infection. It is currently treated using pooled antibodies from healthy donors. This treatment shortens the period of illness and most children recover after two to three weeks. It reduces but does not eliminate the risk of heart disease.

Professor Michael Levin, one of the authors of the study from the Department of Paediatrics at Imperial College London said: “Sadly, all the hospitals in the UK frequently see children with Kawasaki Disease. A child whose coronary arteries are damaged in early childhood faces a lifetime of uncertainty and risk, and we desperately need better treatments to prevent long term heart problems in those affected. We hope our new study will help us to reach this goal.”

Dr Victoria Wright, another author of the study from the Department of Paediatrics at Imperial College London said: “Kawasaki Disease was identified less than fifty years ago so it is a relatively new disease. We still have a long way to go with this research but this is an important step in understanding the disease better.”

For the new study, the international consortium combined their patients to perform a genome-wide association study in 119 Caucasian KD cases and 135 matched controls from Australia, Holland, USA and the UK. They looked at 250000 genetic variants in each patient and uncovered the most significant genes that appeared to be involved in Kawasaki Disease. They then replicated this in an independent cohort of a total of 893 KD cases plus population and family controls.

The researchers are now planning to analyse an Asian cohort of people with Kawasaki Disease, to see if their results can be replicated in this population.

Lucy Goodchild | alfa
Further information:
http://www.imperial.ac.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Millions through license revenues
27.04.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht New High-Performance Center Translational Medical Engineering
26.04.2017 | Fraunhofer ITEM

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>