Picture of Wimbledon Clinics

Wimbledon Clinics

Manchester Researchers Identify New Genes Linked To Arthritis

Contact us for an appointment

*At Wimbledon Clinics we comply with the provisions of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act (UK). We will never share your data without your permission and we will only use your data how you’ve asked us to. Please let us know if you’d like to join our mailing list to receive updates about our specialist consultants, the latest treatments for orthopaedic and sports injuries and prevention tips for common injuries.

For more information, click here to view our privacy policy

A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Manchester and backed by Arthritis Research UK has traced 14 new genes that could be directly related to rheumatoid arthritis, the research funder says. This is a major breakthrough that could open the door to new treatments and help explain why this condition is more common among women than men.

The discovery, which adds to the 32 genes the researchers have already found to lead to the illness, has led the experts to believe they have identified most of the disease-causing genes.

Currently, over 400,000 Britons and around 1% of the global population suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, which is one of the most severe forms of the condition. It is a complex disease deemed to be linked to factors such as smoking, diet, pregnancy or infections, but it is also believed to have its roots in people’s genetic composition.

According to the findings, published in Nature Genetics, there are genes peculiar to the female X-chromosome which make women three times more susceptible to the disease than their male counterparts. This was concluded after looking at DNA samples from over 27,000 people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, which also showed substantial similarities with genetic markers related to other autoimmune diseases, Professor Jane Worthington, lead author of the study, said.

First author Dr Stephen Eyre believes that the discovery of the new genes will be extremely beneficial to clinical treatment of arthritis. The study can also help divide people affected by the disease into smaller groups to allow observation of similar types of rheumatoid arthritis more closely, thus allowing for the development of therapies and disease management for each particular case.