The hunt is on for the genetic basis of Dupuytren’s. A interesting analysis of the chromosome patterns found in Dupuytren’s tissue found a variety of genetic abnormalities and the unexpected finding that these variations were not found in the skin but were seen in areas of palmar fascia not usually involved with Dupuytren’s. (full text: http://Dupuytrens.org/DupPDFs/1988_Wurster-Hill_1091.pdf). Twenty years after this report, the hunt is still on with more sophisticated equipment, identification of involved genes closer but still elusive: http://Dupuytrens.org/gene-expression-in-dupuytrens/. Still, so many questions: is it determined by one or several genes? If, as widely believed, the trait is a dominant gene, why is Dupuytren’s more common in people with blue eyes, the result of a recessive gene? Does the genetic effect only involve the palmar fascia or all fascia? Dupuytren’s skips generations and often appears with no family history: is it a common spontaneous mutation, and if so, is it more common in those born to older parents? Some day, these questions will be answered. With persistence, some day, there will be a cure.
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