Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

UCLA Study Finds Evidence That "Sweaty Palms" Syndrome Is Genetic And Underreported

Date:
March 6, 2002
Source:
University Of California - Los Angeles
Summary:
Imagine being afraid to shake someone's hand, or to simply hold hands with a sweetheart. Beyond just embarrassing, "sweaty palms" syndrome is often a debilitating disorder that can affect one's work and life.

Imagine being afraid to shake someone's hand, or to simply hold hands with a sweetheart. Beyond just embarrassing, "sweaty palms" syndrome is often a debilitating disorder that can affect one's work and life.

Related Articles


A new UCLA study in the February issue of the Journal of Vascular Surgery shows strong evidence that sweaty palms syndrome is genetic. It may be caused by a dominant gene — indicating that family members of those who have the disorder may suffer from it more than has been previously reported.

"Traditionally, this syndrome was thought of as stress-related and has not been taken seriously by the medical community," said Dr. Samuel S. Ahn, principal investigator and professor, UCLA Division of Vascular Surgery. "This is one of the first studies helping to support that 'sweaty palms' is a real physiological disorder that can be passed from generation to generation."

According to Ahn and his collaborators in the UCLA Department of Human Genetics, the study indicates that as much as 5 percent of the population may be at risk for some form of hyperhidrosis, commonly known as sweaty palms syndrome, which causes excessive sweating, most often in the hands and feet. Less than 1 percent of the population was previously thought to be affected.

"Hyperhidrosis can truly affect one's life and career, such as a police officer dropping a gun and having a suspect literally slip away, or a fireman not being able to pull a hose or a banker unable to handle money due to severely sweating palms," Ahn said.

UCLA researchers took detailed family histories from 49 patients with hyperhidrosis and found that two-thirds (65 percent) reported family recurrence of the disorder, compared with zero percent in the control group.

Although the disorder appears to be inherited in a dominant fashion, the possible genes involved may not always cause hyperhidrosis. If one parent has the disorder, the study found that children have a 28 percent risk of also having hyperhidrosis, whereas the risk would be 50 percent if the gene produces the disorder directly. This indicates that other genes may also be necessary for hyperhidrosis to develop. If a child has the disorder, 14 percent of parents have it too.

"The strong inheritance pattern and large number of people with family recurrence of the disorder indicate that hyperhidrosis may be caused by a dominant gene," Ahn said. He adds that the disorder does not appear to be related to sex or ethnicity.

The next step, according to Ahn, is to test the DNA of people with hyperhidrosis and begin the process to of trying to identify genes that cause the problem.

Ahn's interest in pursuing this study began when a former patient of his told him that her six-week old infant also had hyperhidrosis. Ahn then realized the possibility that hyperhidrosis may be inherited and not environmentally related to stress.

Hyperhidrosis is caused by the sympathetic nerve, which governs the nervous system's "fight or flight" response. The sympathetic nerve causes blood vessel contraction in the hands and/or feet, leaving the extremities cold and sweaty. In people with hyperhidrosis, the perspiration is often excessive and continuous.

Treatment for hyperhidrosis of the hands now includes a minimally invasive surgery procedure, thorascopic sympathectomy, where a surgeon will snip the sympathetic nerve connected to the hands. Since the sympathetic nerve is not involved in motor skills or sensation, says Ahn — who is a pioneer of the procedure — the surgery simply stops the ability of the nerve to create hyperhidrosis. The procedure at UCLA has been 100 percent successful.

The study was funded by the California Vascular Research Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of California - Los Angeles. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of California - Los Angeles. "UCLA Study Finds Evidence That "Sweaty Palms" Syndrome Is Genetic And Underreported." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 March 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/03/020301071230.htm>.
University Of California - Los Angeles. (2002, March 6). UCLA Study Finds Evidence That "Sweaty Palms" Syndrome Is Genetic And Underreported. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/03/020301071230.htm
University Of California - Los Angeles. "UCLA Study Finds Evidence That "Sweaty Palms" Syndrome Is Genetic And Underreported." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/03/020301071230.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) According to research out of the University of Pennsylvania, waking up for work is the biggest factor that causes Americans to lose sleep. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

AP (Dec. 17, 2014) A wave of flu illnesses has forced some Ohio schools to shut down over the past week. State officials confirmed one pediatric flu-related death, a 15-year-old girl in southern Ohio. (Dec. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins