Author: Shwu

SNPwatch: Genetic Variant Associated with Multiple Sclerosis Risk May Also Be Linked to Number of Spinal Cord Lesions in People with MS

Multiple sclerosis (MS) afflicts the central nervous system, causing unpredictable and varying symptoms that differ from person to person. About one in 700 people in the United States is affected by the disease. Although there is currently no cure for MS, there are treatments that can slow the progression of ...

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SNPwatch: A New Genetic Variant Associated with ALS Risk and Age-of-Onset

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a rare and deadly neurological disorder affecting voluntary muscle movement. It typically claims victims' lives about three years after symptoms begin. In the United States,  the condition is more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease, after the Yankees slugger who died ...

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SNPwatch: Do These Genes Make Me Look Fat? It Depends on What You Eat

We all know people struggling with weight issues. Maybe they’re overweight and can’t seem to lose the pounds no matter what new diet or exercise regime they try. Or, maybe they’re underweight and have a hard time bulking up no matter how many donuts they consume or weights they lift. Clearly, there’s more to ...

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SNPwatch: New Study Rats Out A Genetic Variant Associated with Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a common disease characterized by high blood glucose levels and unresponsiveness to insulin. Individuals with type 2 diabetes may produce insulin at normal levels but do not respond to it sufficiently, either because the insulin receptors in their cells have become less sensitive or because ...

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SNPwatch: Piecing Together The Inflammatory Bowel Disease Puzzle

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic autoimmune disorder – encompassing both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis – that affects more than a million people in the United States. Normally, our immune system works to fight off harmful pathogens that might pass through our digestive tract. In IBD, ...

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SNPwatch: Three New Genetic Variants Associated With Rheumatoid Arthritis Risk

The most common type of arthritis, osteoarthritis, occurs due to accumulated wear and tear – welcome to old age! – or from repetitive movements or injury.  Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is caused by an autoimmune attack on the lining of the joints, resulting in stiffness, muscle aches, and general ...

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SNPwatch: New Variants Associated With Lupus in Europeans and Asians

Lupus, which means "wolf" in Latin, gets its name from the skin manifestations sometimes seen in the disease. A physician in the 13th century thought they looked like wolf bites. In autoimmune disorders, the immune system — which normally protects us from harmful, foreign substances — goes into overdrive ...

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SNPwatch: Two Large Studies Identify More Variants Associated with Blood-Related Traits

Previously in The Spittoon, we discussed two papers that identified genetic variants associated with hemoglobin levels in circulating blood. But blood consists of much more than hemoglobin, and it is responsible for much more than just transporting oxygen. This week Nature Genetics published the results of ...

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SNPwatch: The Plot Thickens For Thinning Bones

Our bones are amazing structures, capable of supporting tremendous force through complex motions. They do this day in and day out, year after year as we sit, stand, walk, run, lift, work, and play. But as the elderly among us know all too well, bones are not invincible and become more fragile as we age. As ...

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SNPwatch: Common Variants May Influence Glaucoma Risk in Individuals of African Descent

Editor’s note: Pending an FDA decision, 23andMe no longer offers new customers access to health reports referred to in this post. Customers who purchased prior to November 22, 2013 will still be able to see their health reports, but those who purchased after that time will not. Those customers will have ...

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