Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Immunology
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Key Genetic Link Between Chronic Pain Conditions Discovered

Published: Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Last Updated: Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Bookmark and Share
Research from at King’s College London suggests that some people may be genetically predisposed to suffer from conditions of this type.

The study, published in the journal Pain, examined identical and non-identical twins and established that IBS, musculoskeletal pain, pelvic pain and dry eye disease may have hereditary links. Migraine was shown, as previously, to have a degree of genetic susceptibility but was not genetically linked to the other conditions.

Chronic pain syndromes such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and chronic pelvic pain can severely affect someone’s quality of life and their diagnosis relies on the presentation of symptoms, not on evidence of inflammation or other biomarkers on testing. These types of conditions are poorly defined and a challenge to healthcare providers because of their complex physiology, poor response to therapy and associated psychological elements. Chronic pain syndromes are more often reported in women than men.

The research team, funded by the Pain Research Foundation, studied more than 8,000 pairs of twins from the TwinsUK cohort using questionnaires asking about subjects’ chronic pain symptoms. The sample compared groups of identical twins (sharing 100 per cent of their DNA) and non-identical twins (sharing 50 per cent of their DNA), with the differences between these two groups providing important information about the heritability of the conditions.

All of the CPS studied were more likely to be found in both twins in a identical pair than in the non-identical group, leading to the conclusion that each of the five syndromes are heritable. There was also a higher prevalence of CPS in females than males as expected.

Further analysis of different combinations of these CPS in female twin pairs showed that there were also stronger links between the syndromes in the identical group than in the non-identical group, indicative of a genetic link between four of the conditions (migraine was excluded from this second analysis). This suggests a common genetic pathway for CPS in general which was estimated to be 66 per cent heritable. 

Dr Frances Williams, lead researcher from the Department of Twin Research at King’s College London said: ‘This study is one of the first to examine the role of genetic and environmental factors in explaining the links between different chronic pain syndromes. The findings have clearly suggested that CPS may be heritable within families. With further research, these findings could then lead to therapies which may change the lives of those suffering with chronic pain.’

The presence of a possible genetic predisposition to CPS is also supported by similarities in symptoms and could explain why many sufferers have more than one of these kinds of diseases. Shared symptoms such as fatigue, memory loss, sleep disturbance are often seen. Migraine was found less commonly with the other CPS so appears to be a different disease entity and was excluded from simultaneous analysis with the other syndromes.

Conditions such as these are often overlooked and not considered a research priority and so, as one of the first studies to examine the role of genetic and environmental factors in explaining possible links, these findings can now justify further study to find common genetic variants.

The overlap found between CPS found in this study is suggestive of an underlying genetic pathway, common for all CPS and could lead to more effective, targeted therapies in the future. This has the potential to significantly increase the quality of life for sufferers of conditions with chronic pain. 


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,100+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

New Immunotherapy Trial for Type 1 Diabetes
The search for a treatment for Type 1 diabetes (T1D) - which affects over 400,000 people in the UK – will be stepped up with the start of a new phase one clinical trial at Guy’s Hospital in London.
Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Scientific News
Alzheimer’s Protein Serves as Natural Antibiotic
Alzheimer's-associated amyloid plaques may be part of natural process to trap microbes, findings suggest new therapeutic strategies.
Slime Mold Reveals Clues to Immune Cells’ Directional Abilities
Study from UC San Diego identifies a protein involved in the directional ability of a slime mold.
Supressing Intenstinal Analphylaxis in Peanut Allergy
Study from National Jewish Health shows that blockade of histamine receptors suppresses intestinal anaphylaxis in peanut allergy.
Getting a Better Look at How HIV Infects and Takes Over its Host Cells
A new approach, developed by a team of researchers led by The Rockefeller University and The Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center (ADARC), offers an unprecedented view of how a virus infects and appropriates a host cell, step by step.
Untangling Disease-Related Protein Misfolding
Work advances understanding of genetic forms of thrombosis, emphysema, cirrhosis of the liver, neurodegenerative diseases and inflammation, among others.
Developing a More Precise Seasonal Flu Vaccine
During the 2014-15 flu season, the poor match between the virus used to make the world’s vaccine stocks and the circulating seasonal virus yielded a vaccine that was less than 20 percent effective.
Fighting Cancer with Borrowed Immunity
A new step in cancer immunotherapy: researchers from the Netherlands Cancer Institute and University of Oslo/Oslo University Hospital show that even if one's own immune cells cannot recognize and fight their tumors, someone else's immune cells might.
Loss Of Y Chromosome Increases Risk Of Alzheimer’s
Men with blood cells that do not carry the Y chromosome are at greater risk of being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. This is in addition to an increased risk of death from other causes, including many cancers. These new findings by researchers at Uppsala University could lead to a simple test to identify those at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Immune Cells Remember Their First Meal
Scientists at the University of Bristol have identified the trigger for immune cells' inflammatory response – a discovery that may pave the way for new treatments for many human diseases.
"Sunscreen" Gene May Guard Against Melanoma
USC-led study reveals that melanoma patients with deficient or mutant copies of the gene are less protected from harmful ultraviolet rays.
SELECTBIO

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,100+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,500+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!