For the first time researchers have discovered sixteen new segments of the genetic code which are associated with lung health. This research will open up new potential for better prevention and treatment for lung disorders. A team of international researchers discovered genetic variations which are linked to the health of human lungs.
The new invention could shed light on the molecular foundation of lung disorders such as COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). For the first time these sixteen ordinary genetic variations have been undeniably associated with function of the lung. The ground-breaking research occupied a genetic study of two and half million genetic variants in each of fifty thousand people unanimously.
Then a lesser number of the most capable variations were studied in a further forty-six thousand people globally. The current discoveries build on study bringing the total number of genetic variations associated with lung function to twenty six. The variations that envisage lung function also envisage the Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
The study was led by Professor Ian Hall from The University of Nottingham, Dr Stephanie London from the US National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and Professor Martin Tobin from the University of Leicester. The study was supported by the UK Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Wellcome Trust.
COPD is progressive disease, makes it hard for people to breathe and affects around one in ten adults above the age of forty and is fourth most frequent cause of death globally. Smoking is the most significant risk factor for developing COPD, explained Prof Martin Tobin, one of the lead authors.
These discoveries could offer the key to new therapies for lung diseases such as COPD. It is too early to say whether this information would be of use as a screening test to predict the development of COPD. Stopping smoking is the best way to prevent COPD, added Prof Tobin. The study was published in Nature Genetics.
This work is important as until recently they have not understood the aspects which lie beneath hereditary inconsistency in lung function. The very large genetic studies needed to discover key genes, which would not have been possible without the support of many groups around the world, explained Professor Ian Hall from The University of Nottingham.
Now they require taking the information achieved from this research to do two things, first to learn more about the functioning of the genes that contribute to the risk of developing lung disorders like COPD. Second to try and develop stratagems to use genetic information to improve the clinical care provided to individual patients, concluded Prof Hall.
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