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Pediatric researchers find possible 'master switch' gene in juvenile arthritis
Date:7/1/2008

e there is no cure for JIA, medicines and physical therapy can help maintain movement and reduce swelling and pain. Researchers have previously identified seven subtypes of JIA.

"We think this finding may be a clue to the specific disease pathway that leads to arthritis," said Behrens, a pediatric rheumatologist at Children's Hospital. "We currently use medicines called tumor necrosis factor blockers to treat children with JIA. However, not all children respond to these drugs, and other children may develop severe allergic reactions and other side effects. If we can fully identify all the genes that interact with environmental risk factors, we might develop more targeted treatments with fewer side effects."

"The high-resolution genome-wide association approach has very markedly enhanced our ability to identify disease genes in complex disorders such as JIA, and what is remarkable about this discovery is that it appears there may be a common genetic factor predisposing to all seven forms of the disease," said Dr. Hakonarson.


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Contact: Juliann Walsh
walshj1@email.chop.edu
267-426-6054
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Source:Eurekalert

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