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Approved research

The genetics of carpal tunnel syndrome

Principal Investigator: Professor Dominic Furniss
Approved Research ID: 10948
Approval date: December 1st 2014

Lay summary

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a very common condition, where pressure in the wrist affects one of the major nerves to the hand. This pressure causes pain, pins and needles, numbness, weakness, and often wakes sufferers at night. We know that genes play an important part in predisposing to CTS, but we don?t know which genes are important. We aim to work out which genes predispose to carpal tunnel syndrome, so that we can predict who might get CTS and advise them how to avoid triggers, such as repetitive work. Eventually we hope to design new treatments for CTS. Our project aims to improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome, for the benefit of the wider public, in line with the stated aims of UK Biobank. We will use whole genome genotype data produced by UK Biobank to compare the genotype of patients with carpal tunnel syndrome to those without carpal tunnel syndrome, an analysis known as a genome wide association study. When variants are significantly more common in cases compared to controls, or vice versa, this is evidence that they predispose to, or are protective against, carpal tunnel syndrome. The large dataset provided by UK Biobank will allow us to control for other factors that are known to predispose to carpal tunnel syndrome. We will use the full cohort.