Researchers identify gene that may forecast osteoporosis

May 26th, 2008 - 2:43 pm ICT by admin  

Sydney, May 26 (IANS) Researchers have identified a new gene that may help predict the chances of developing osteoporosis later in life. Osteoporosis is a genetic disorder exacerbated by damaging environmental influences, such as reduced mobility, lack of sunlight and calcium.

It was not a great problem in earlier generations - when life expectancies were lower - because these environmental effects mostly act up after the age of 60.

“What we have found is a new gene strongly related to bone structure, which is useful in predicting who may get into problems as they age,” said Richard Prince of University of Western Australia.

“It will also help provide new insights into the mechanisms affecting the biology of bone structure. If we can clarify these mechanisms it will provide targets for new pharmaceutical interventions, as is already occurring based on the knowledge of other important biological mechanisms that cause osteoporosis.”

Added molecular geneticist Scott Wilson: “The prospect of personalised medicine and the use of genetic testing to obtain detailed genetic information on ordinary people to aid in disease prediction and management is getting closer.”

The breakthrough has been published online in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

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