Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Genes Linked To Spinal Disc Degeneration Identified

Date:
March 17, 2009
Source:
University of Alberta
Summary:
Lumbar disc degeneration is an uncomfortable condition that affects millions of people, but two researchers have identified some of the genes that are causing problems.

Lumbar disc degeneration is an uncomfortable condition that affects millions of people, but two University of Alberta researchers have identified some of the genes that are causing problems.

Michele Crites-Battie and Tapio Videman, in the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, have discovered eight genes that are directly related to disc degeneration.

"We found more genes associated with disc degeneration than was discovered in 30 prior studies," said Videman. "This is very exciting."

The pair started by studying 25 specific genes they thought could be linked to the disease.

They picked these "candidate" genes based on the views of two leading experts in the field who Crites-Battie and Videman have collaborated with through the years. They narrowed their search down using state-of-the-art DNA analyzers, then applying statistical methods and analyzing MRIs of twins' spines.

"Identifying genes involved can provide important insights into the biological mechanisms behind disc degeneration and a better understanding of what is going wrong in the system," said Crites-Battie. "This can eventually lead to effective interventions for the problem."

The pair will now look at the interaction between these eight genes and their environment. This will help them identify what gene forms indicate susceptibility.

"This will tell us who should avoid physical loading, and in which people obesity could be a risk factor for spine problems," said Videman.

But this could be a long process as disc degeneration is what's called polygenic, meaning it involves more than one gene.

"There are likely to be quite a number of genes involved and a system of complex gene-gene and gene-environment interactions," said Crites-Battie. "Obtaining a full appreciation of the genetic architecture of disc degeneration is likely to be a very lengthy, involved process."

This discovery comes about a year after the pair's award winning 10-year international twin-spine study proved that disc degeneration is affected largely by genetics.

"For years it has been thought that wear and tear was the main cause," said Crites-Battie.

The U of A researchers have made huge strides in the field and are determined to put an end to lower-back pain.

"This study could lead to interventions and actions individuals could take to minimize disc degeneration to which [patients] might be particularly prone," said Crites-Battie. "We are very excited about continuing down this trail and believe there is still much more to be learned."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Alberta. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Alberta. "Genes Linked To Spinal Disc Degeneration Identified." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 March 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090312092438.htm>.
University of Alberta. (2009, March 17). Genes Linked To Spinal Disc Degeneration Identified. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090312092438.htm
University of Alberta. "Genes Linked To Spinal Disc Degeneration Identified." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090312092438.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Doctors once thought artificial sweeteners lacked the health risks of sugar, but a new study says they can impact blood sugar levels the same way. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

AFP (Sep. 17, 2014) A healthy British volunteer is to become the first person to receive a new vaccine for the Ebola virus after US President Barack Obama called for action against the epidemic and warned it was "spiralling out of control." Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Researchers are puzzled as to why obesity rates remain relatively stable as average waistlines continue to expand. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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