Single genetic glitch may explain most allergies and asthma

Asthma Getty TIME
Image via TIME. Credit: Rosemarie Gearhart/ Getty

Allergies are certainly the result of both genetic and environmental factors, but there is fresh evidence to suggest that at least one major genetic aberration could be behind everything from hay fever to food allergies to asthma.

Allergies — to dust, pet hair or peanuts — are essentially the product of misdirected immune systems, which start to see innocuous objects as potential threats and launch an intensive assault that can translate into sneezing, wheezing, and even potentially fatal seizures.

Now researchers studying the genetics behind the rare tissue disorders Marfan and Loeys-Dietz syndromes have discovered that there may be a common genetic driver behind almost all allergic diseases.

Read the full, original story here: Single Genetic Glitch May Explain Most Allergies and Asthma

Additional Resources:

  • Loeys-Dietz syndrome, National Institutes of Health
    Learn more about one of the diseases the researchers were studying when they made the new discovery.
  • Allergy Facts, American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
    Allergic diseases, which include asthma, are the fifth most prevalent chronic diseases in all ages, and the third most common in children.
  • What Is Asthma?, National Institutes of Health
    In the United States, more than 25 million people are known to have asthma. About 7 million of these people are children.
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