Rheumatoid Arthritis, Huntington's Disease Share Similarity

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16 May 2018 07:49 AM EST

Researchers have found a genetic link between rheumatoid arthritis and Huntington's disease. The findings show promise of new therapeutic targets and drugs for both conditions. Huntington's disease is an inherited incurable genetic brain disease. People with the disease are born with a defective gene that causes it, but symptoms generally don't appear until middle age. And while medications can offer some relief from symptoms, the drugs do not prevent the physical, mental and behavioral decline linked to the condition. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that affects more than 1.3 Americans, causing pain and swelling in joints. It can also affect other organs, including the heart and blood vessels. Between 10 percent and 20 percent of RA patients do not respond to any available medicines. Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai found a link between the two conditions in the epigenome--the proteins and molecules that decorate DNA and help turn genes on and off.

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