Researchers have identified additional genes associated with the autoimmune skin condition vitiligo. Vitiligo causes white patches on the skin due to loss of pigmentation. The researchers identified 23 new genes tied to vitiligo, thus doubling the number of known genes to date.
Vitiligo may be linked to other autoimmune diseases, including thyroid diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus.
Developing a better understanding of vitiligo can help improve treatment options not only for vitiligo but for other autoimmune diseases as well.
Researchers also found links between genes tied to vitiligo and genes associated with other conditions, though it is still unclear whether these associations imply shared causes. Still, the study findings pave the way for future research investigating these associations.
The findings were published in Nature Genetics.