"Allergy is an important component of many diseases, including asthma, eczema and hay fever, which together account for a huge burden on patients and the health services." said professor John Henderson of ALSPAC. "This is a very exciting time for allergy research. Genetic discoveries have identified specific pathways of allergy development that are not shared with allergic diseases like asthma. Understanding these pathways could lead to eventual development of drugs that cure or prevent allergy rather than just suppressing its symptoms."
"One of the key features of this work is the demonstration that with a suitably sized study, the analysis of medically relevant questionnaire data alongside genetic variation has the potential to yield important information concerning the underlying biology of a complex outcome," said Dr. Nic Timpson of ALSPAC. "Indeed, through this collaborative interaction with colleagues from EAGLE where specific tests of allergic sensitization were available, we were able to independently replicate many of the findings made here."
Also published on June 30, 2013 in Nature Genetics was a companion study called, "Meta-Analysis of Genome-Wide Association Studies Identifies 10 Loci Influencing Allergic Sensitization". This study had similar methodology to the 23andMe/ALSPAC study but was conducted by the Early Genetics and Lifecourse Epidemiology research cohort (EAGLE) using clinically defined data instead of self-reported data. This provided the opportunity to compare results of self-reported data to study results based on clinically defined data. The results from the studies were generally very consistent, highlighting many of the same genes
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