Are Your Deteriorating Discs caused by Bad Genes?

By /

low back pain genes

A low back pain gene? A study this last week reported that a gene had been identified that was linked to low back pain. In particular, the gene seems to be related to patients who have low back discs that degenerate more quickly. In addition, the bad backs are linked to a form of the gene that is switched off, meaning that epigentic factors (things in the environment) could be causing the problem. What does that have to do with stem cells? If you look up the normal function of the gene, it gets more interesting in how or why it may be associated with bad discs. The Park2 gene (aka Parkin) is involved in getting rid of worn out of badly produced proteins. The gene is also responsible for keeping cells healthy and when functional, protects nerve cells (hence a possible reason it’s associated with Parkinson’s).

So how in the world could this gene be linked to discs that degenerate faster? Disc degeneration is a game of keeping the cells inside the disc alive and functioning so they can produce special chemicals (called GAGs) that hold onto water and allow the disc to remain a good shock absorber. Degeneration has also been recently been linked to complex interplay of nerve related inflammation, so it;s possible that a good Park2 gene can either help protect these nerve cells or the cells inside the disc that produce GAGs to keep it plumped up. This has an implication for cellular therapies, as activating a turned off Park2 gene may be needed for long term success of repopulating the disc with cells that can hold onto water.

The upshot? Something is turning off this gene in patients with bad discs….now the question is what and how to turn the genetic switch back on? If you’re wondering about the illustration above, it’s the Park2 gene superimposed on a low back…so much for a little artistic license!

Learn about Regenexx procedures for spine conditions.

If you have questions or comments about this blog post, please email us at [email protected]

NOTE: This blog post provides general information to help the reader better understand regenerative medicine, musculoskeletal health, and related subjects. All content provided in this blog, website, or any linked materials, including text, graphics, images, patient profiles, outcomes, and information, are not intended and should not be considered or used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please always consult with a professional and certified healthcare provider to discuss if a treatment is right for you.

Get Blog Updates by Email

By submitting the form, you are agreeing that you read and consent to our Privacy Policy. We may also contact you via email, phone, and other electronic means to communicate information about our products and services. We do not sell, or share your information to third party vendors.

Copyright © Regenexx 2021. All rights reserved.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Address

9035 Wadsworth Pkwy #1000
Westminster, CO 80021

Phone

*DISCLAIMER: Like all medical procedures, Regenexx® Procedures have a success and failure rate. Patient reviews and testimonials on this site should not be interpreted as a statement on the effectiveness of our treatments for anyone else.

Providers listed on the Regenexx website are for informational purposes only and are not a recommendation from Regenexx for a specific provider or a guarantee of the outcome of any treatment you receive.

LinkedIn
Email
TO TOP