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More Mutations Of Gene That Cause Skin Disorders And Asthma Discovered

p 12 changes to the normal sequence that prevented or reduced protein production from the gene. A further study of five Irish children with severe eczema identified three more mutations.

When the team looked at 188 Irish children with eczema they found that around half carried at least one mutation in the filaggrin gene that would prevent production of the protein. The study is published in the journal Nature Genetics.

Mutations to the filaggrin genes, which come in pairs, are thought to damage the outer layers of the skin, allowing the entry of allergens, which drive the immune system haywire.

A mutation to one gene is enough to cause ichthyosis vulgaris, a dry, scaly skin. If both genes are faulty, the problems lead to eczema, asthma, and, it is suspected, hayfever and peanut allergy.

The researchers hope that the study findings will lead to more effective treatments and preventative measures in babies.

Allergic conditions such as eczema, hayfever and food intolerances have increased dramatically. Almost half of the UK population is thought to have some form of allergy.


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