Washington: Scientists have identified genes which they claim could increase the risk of developing Paget`s disease -- a chronic and painful bone condition that causes inflammation and deformity.
An international team, which has provided new insights
into the genetics of bone disease, says that the findings may
allow future genetic profiling to identify people at risk of
the metabolic bone disease, the `Nature Genetics` reported.
According to the scientists, a large part of the
genetic risk of Paget`s disease in individuals is accounted
for by these genes, some of which are known to play important
roles in bone metabolism, while others have not previously
been linked to bone regulation.
Though they have not revealed the names of the genes,
the scientists says these are likely to be important in bone
health, and may also play a part in other bone diseases such
as osteoporosis and bone cancer.
However, further work will be required to explain
how the identified genes are functionally linked to Paget`s
disease -- for eg, altered gene expression, mutations that
lead to gain or loss of function.
The relatively large impact of these genes suggests
that it may be possible to use genetic profiling in the future
to identify people at risk of developing Paget`s disease, say
the scientists led by the University of Western Australia.