Question: Do we know of any genes that predispose someone to developing osteoarthritis?
Answer: One of the more exciting things that's been going on in the research in osteoarthritis recently is trying to determine whether or not there's a genetic predisposition. It all started with a family of people in Toledo, Ohio, that had everybody in the family had osteoarthritis. And what they did is they isolated the gene and found out that one of the proteins that was developing that binds the tissues together was abnormal. So they did find a specific genetic defect in that family. Since that time, there have been several additional families and additional defects have been identified. But the overall genetic predisposition has not been cleanly defined yet. There are some very large studies going on, both in the United Kingdom and in the United States, that are looking at genetics and trying to find out what the genetic predisposition is.