Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Two specific genetic variations in people of African descent are responsible for persistent atopic dermatitis (AD), an itchy, inflammatory form of the skin disorder eczema
A new report by researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania found that loss-of-function mutations to Filaggrin-2 (FLG2), a gene that creates a protein responsible for retaining moisture and protecting the skin from environmental irritants, were associated with atopic dermatitis in African American children. The study is the first report to deduce the mechanism responsible for the persistent form of the condition in African American children. Nearly half of people with atopic dermatitis in the United States are African-American children. The team evaluated DNA from 299 African American children, none of whom had experienced skin free of symptoms of AD while not on medication in the previous 6 months. Within the group, researchers discovered that children with either one of two FLG2 mutations - rs12568784 or rs16833974 - were more than 50% more likely to have persistent AD than those without the mutations.