London: Scientists have identified 14 new genes which may help advance treatment of childhood arthritis.The University of Manchester researchers looked at DNA extracted from blood and saliva samples of 2,000 children with childhood arthritis and compared these to healthy people."This study brought together an international group of scientists from around the world and is the largest investigation into the genetics of childhood arthritis to date," said Principal Investigator Professor Wendy Thomson from Manchester University.Childhood arthritis is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental risk factors, however until recently very little was known about the genes that are important in developing this disease - only three were previously known.Dr Anne Hinks, joint lead author of the study, said the findings were a significant breakthrough for understanding more about the biology of the disease and this might help identify novel therapies for the disease.
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