In the largest study of its kind, researchers examined the role played by genomes in the skin condition eczema. A team of international researchers identified 10 previously unknown genetic variations that contribute to eczema. The researchers also found overlap between eczema and other illnesses, such as inflammatory bowel disease.
One in five children and one in 12 adults suffer from eczema. Knowing which genome causes eczema is crucial in preventing and treating the condition, but currently there are many unknown genomes involved in the skin condition.
The team conducted their research on 377,000 individuals in 40 different countries. Member of the team, Bo Jacobsson, M.D., Ph.D., said, “We identified 10 new genetic variations, making a total of 31 that are currently known to be associated with atopic dermatitis. Of particular interest is that each of the new ones has a role to play in regulation of the immune system.”
Jacobsson added, “While the new variations contribute in only a small way to the risk of developing atopic dermatitis, knowing about them will raise our awareness about the mechanisms of the various diseases. Our ultimate hope is that additional treatment methods will emerge as a result.”
The large size of the study allowed for researchers to have a better, clearer understanding of how autoimmune factors play a role in eczemas development.
The findings were published in Nature Genetics.