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Genetic Basis of Rosacea Identified By Researchers

Rosacea, an inflammatory condition that targets fair skinned individuals according to the National Rosacea Society, affects around 14 million Americans or 5 percent of our population and about 10 percent of Northern Europeans countries. It can cause burning, stinging, itching, redness, inflammatory lesions, and a bulbous dystrophic nose that are not only physically uncomfortable, but can be emotionally devastating.

Dr. Anne Lynn Chang, lead author of the paper and assistant professor of dermatology at Stanford remarks about rosacea, “It is one of the most common things we see in dermatology clinic that is incurable and not easily treatable.”

A collaboration between Stanford University School of Medicine and 23andMe, a personal genomic and biotechnology company, unveiled two areas of the genome that are associated with rosacea. These two areas were located near genes that are known to have roles in inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.

The study, supported by the National Institutes of Health and the National Rosacea Society, was composed of two separate experiments for consistency. Each part had between 2-3,000 rosacea patients and 20-26,000 control subjects. 23andMe customers were surveyed as to whether they had ever been diagnosed with rosacea by a health care provider. Saliva was used as the genetic material to sequence the genomes and obtain a genome-wide association analysis.

Dr. Chang explains that with this exciting information, “The next step is to look more into these associations of rosacea with other diseases and explore whether the inflammation in rosacea is a cutaneous sign of risk for other disease.”
-Adapted from the original press release

By: Lauren R. Zajac MHS, PA-C, SDPA Summer CME Conference Chair


(Image by: Stanford Med )

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