Degenerative disc disease: genotyping, MR imaging and phenotyping
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Degenerative disc disease is probably a result of multiple interactive factors. While traditional thinking has linked disc degeneration primarily to mechanical loading, other factors may be as important. Trauma, nutrition and genetic factors probably play important roles in the cascade of disc degeneration, albeit to variable degrees in different individuals. The intent of this commentary is to emphasize the linkage of genetics in degenerative disease, and underscore the importance that imaging has and will play in furthering our understanding of this relationship.
The concept of a genetic predisposition to degenerative disc disease is not new. It has been suggested by animal models that consistently develop degenerative disc disease at an early age  as well as by reports of familial osteoarthritis and lumbar canal stenosis in humans. In a study of 115 male identical twin pairs, the effects of lifetime exposure to commonly suspected risk factors for disc degeneration—including job...
KeywordsGenetic Influence Disc Degeneration Degenerative Disc Disease Nonshared Environment Suspect Risk Factor