Trinity College Dublin: Irish people tend to be more predisposed to eczema, a group of itching and sore skin complaints, than most Europeans
A team from the School of Medicine, working with scientists from the University of Dundee, has identified genetic mutations which are thought to cause eczema.
The discovery could be very important for treating children who show signs of eczema.
Nearly 200 Irish children took part in the research.
Data from Irish patients showed that five different mutations in a gene called filaggrin were much more common in children with eczema than in the general population.
Although around one in 10 people of European origin carry one of the mutations, the study found that around half of the Irish eczema patients had it.
The find by the team of researchers have just been published in the international journal, Nature Genetics.
Paediatric dermatologist, Dr Alan Irvine of the TCD Department of Clinical Medicine, led the research, in conjunction with Professor Irwin McLean at the University of Dundee’s College of Medicine.
"Having a filaggrin mutation confers a very high risk of eczema - a 65% chance with one filaggrin mutation and a 90% chance with two filaggrin mutations," Dr Irvine said.
"This new research now provides a target for direct intervention and the development of new therapeutic approaches."
Gene find may bring better eczema help, say scientists
It’s Official: British (a.k.a. America’s Founders) Not Diverse At All