Researchers at King's College London have identified a gene linked to age-related degeneration of the intervertebral discs, a common cause of lower back pain.
Back pain costs the United Kingdom an estimated £7billion ($11 billion in US dollars) a year due to sick leave and treatment costs. Lumbar disc degeneration (LDD) is inherited in 65%-80% of people with the condition, suggesting that genes play a key role. Until now, the genetic cause of lower back pain associated with LDD was unknown, says King's.
For this study, scientists compared MRI images of the spine in 4,600 individuals with genome-wide association data, which mapped the genes of all the volunteers. They identified that the gene PARK2 was implicated in people with degenerate discs and could affect the speed at which they deteriorate.
The researchers say the results show that the gene may be switched off in people with LDD. Although it is still unclear how this might happen, it is thought that environmental factors, such as lifestyle and diet, could trigger this switch by making changes known as epigenetic modifications to the gene.
was published online September 19 in Annals of Rheumatic Diseases.
The Marquette Challenge is an annual student-led grassroots fundraising effort that supports physical therapy research. Over the past 24 years, students participating in the Marquette Challenge have raised more than $2.3 million in support of the Foundation and its mission.
To learn how your school can help advance
physical therapy research and gain national recognition check out the interactive Challenge kit.
population level, diabetes is a stronger risk factor for new heart failure (HF)
than 4 other modifiable risk factors, namely smoking, dyslipidemia, obesity,
and hypertension, suggests the latest analysis from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study cohort.
a longitudinal study of more than 15,000 African American and Caucasian men and
women in 4 communities across the United States, who were recruited during the
1980s when they were aged 45 to 64. The current analysis included 14,709 of the
participants followed an average of 17.6 years.
to the authors, the lifetime risk of incident heart failure was about 1 in 3
for its African American participants and reached 1 in 4 in Caucasians. In both
groups, that risk was higher than the lifetime risk of new coronary heart
disease or stroke in the same population.
addition, they found that a percentage drop in diabetes prevalence would avert
more cases of new HF than the same percentage decrease of any of the 4 other
studied modifiable risk factors. Specifically, a 5% proportional reduction in
the prevalence of diabetes in ARIC African American participants would result
in approximately 53 fewer HF cases per 100,000 person-years and 33 fewer HF
hospitalizations per 100,000 person-years for Caucasians.
Free full-text of the article is available in Journal of the American College of
for the 2012 APTA State Policy and Payment Forum now is open. This year's event
will take place December 1-3 at the Hilton Alexandria Old Town in Alexandria, Virginia. The
State Policy and Payment Forum is designed to increase your involvement in and
knowledge of state legislative and payment issues that have an impact on the
practice of physical therapy and improve your advocacy efforts at the state
level. You will hear from influential public policymakers and other physical
therapy advocates, collaborate with colleagues in developing your chapter or
section's advocacy efforts, and network with other professionals from across
this year will include presentations on physical therapy copay legislation,
term protection for physical therapy, emerging scope of practice issues, silent
preferred provider organizations (PPOs), health information technology (HIT),
Medicaid, state health exchanges, and much more. Some programming highlights
for this year's forum include:
event is open to APTA members only. Registration is $140 for PTs and
physical therapist assistants (PTAs) and $90 for students. Virginia
Chapter members get a special discounted rate of $100 for PTs and PTAs, and $50
for students. Registration closes November 9. Registration will not be
available onsite, so be sure to register by the deadline. Additional
information is available at www.apta.org/stateforum.