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Breaking Down the Genetics of Arthritis

The term arthritis is generic and may refer to any number of disease processes that affect the joints. People of all ages, genders and nationalities may develop symptoms. Statistics suggest that more than 50 million adults and 300,000 children are diagnosed with some form of the disease. The ailment occurs more often in women and more regularly in people as they age with the most common forms known as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Though it is far from conclusive, research indicates that either type can be inherited. Providers of elderly home care in Orlando will explain these two types of congenital arthritic disorders and explains how they could be genetic.

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis remains the most common form of the ailment and involves a gradual deterioration of the shock absorbing cartilage between joints. Over time the cartilage disappears, which leads to friction between the bones in the joint. The continual irritation causes pain, impairs movement and often becomes inflamed and swollen. The ends of the bones may also become malformed and develop spurs or nodules. Though usually associated with injury or normal wear and tear, genetics may play a factor. Evaluations of multiple family members diagnosed with the disease were found to have a genetic mutation that caused defects in their cartilage, causing it to wear away. Some estimate that up to 25 percent of those with osteoarthritis inherited the condition from an immediate family member.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease. Researchers believe that environmental factors, hormones and genetics may all be reasons why the body’s natural immune system initiates an inflammatory response that commonly affects the joints. The presence of one genetic anomaly, known as the single nucleotide polymorphism or SNP, doubles the risk of developing the disorder. SNP is associated with an enzyme known as PTPN22 that is responsible for regulating white blood cell activity. When two copies of SNP exist, PTPN22 cannot stop white blood cell activity that then becomes overactive. Other genetic variances include the presence of HLA, STAT4, TRAF1 and C5, all of which affect the autoimmune response that would otherwise stop the onset of RA.

Seniors with arthritis often have trouble conducting daily activities due to pain and discomfort associated with the disorder. If your senior loved one has arthritis and needs help with cooking, cleaning, or mobility assistance, reach out to the experts at Home Care Assistance. Our compassionate caregivers offer comprehensive care around the clock to seniors of all physical and mental capacities. We also provide comprehensive dementia, Parkinson’s, stroke, and Alzheimer’s care Orlando families can rely upon. Call 407.232.7155 today to speak with a friendly Care Manager and learn more about how we can help your senior loved one.