Back to Top Skip to main content

Possible cause for severe eczema has been found

Some patients living with severe eczema – a possible disqualifying factor for military service – have been found to have mutations on a gene called CARD11. Identified as a possible cause for the condition, the discovery can lead to exciting possibilities for advancements, according to the researchers. Some patients living with severe eczema – a possible disqualifying factor for military service – have been found to have mutations on a gene called CARD11. Identified as a possible cause for the condition, the discovery can lead to exciting possibilities for advancements, according to the researchers.

Recommended Content:

Conditions and Treatments | Innovation | Warrior Care

For more than 17 million people in the United States living with severe eczema – a condition that results in dry, itchy rashes and disqualifies many from military service – the mystery behind its cause may be all too familiar. Thanks to researchers at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences and National Institutes of Health, certain patients may understand more about their condition.

“Studying these … disorders, especially when we can define the disease based on a single mutation, is incredibly informative because you can learn a lot,” said Andrew Snow, assistant professor in the department of pharmacology and molecular therapeutics at USU, and senior co-author of a study recently published in the journal Nature Genetics.

Researchers at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences and National Institutes of Health identified mutations in a gene known as CARD11 as one underlying cause for severe eczema. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ashlin Federick)Researchers at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences and National Institutes of Health identified mutations in a gene known as CARD11 as one underlying cause for severe eczema. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ashlin Federick)

In this study, mutations in a gene known as CARD11 were identified as one underlying cause for severe eczema. The discovery led the researchers to ask whether excess glutamine can help correct some of the allergy-related defects in patients’ immune cells. The testing was done with T cells, known as the conductors of the body’s immune response against infections, from one patient in a lab, and the results were promising. Additional work with the NIH to study whether symptoms for patients with similar mutations improve with glutamine supplements – a readily available product in stores – is likely, said Snow.

Severe eczema can run in families, which suggests a genetic cause, said Snow. One by one, Snow and NIH allergist Dr. Joshua Milner received referrals for patients who had mutations in the same gene – totaling eight patients from four different families.

“However, such treatments are not a cure for the cause of the disease, particularly if it’s a genetic cause,” said Snow.

During the study, researchers discovered these CARD11 mutations can prevent T cells  from being able to do their jobs normally. The mutations prevent the cells from taking in enough glutamine, which is needed for T cells to maintain their proper function. This may help explain why some patients with severe eczema have a history of pneumonia, warts, and other types of lung and skin infections, said Snow.

While a mutation in the CARD11 gene is only one possible cause for severe eczema, its discovery can influence new therapies. Current treatments, including over-the-counter and prescription pills or creams, focus on bringing down the inflammation and relieving the itching.

Jeffrey Stinson, a former USU graduate student in Snow’s laboratory, who is currently at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and co-author on the study, said the possibility of having something so easily accessible as a targeted form of treatment would be an incredible achievement for those living with severe eczema and other allergic symptoms.

“This genetic condition is considered rare, but it’s important to acknowledge the impact that findings from small, basic research studies like this can have in the medical field,” said Stinson, stressing that the research would not be possible without the time and participation of the families who volunteer. “Thanks to their dedication, we have new and exciting possibilities for advancement before us.” 

You also may be interested in...

Physical Disability Board of Review Fact Sheet

Fact Sheet
10/11/2018

The Physical Disability Board of Review, or PDBR, was legislated by Congress and implemented by the Department of Defense to ensure the accuracy and fairness of combined disability ratings of 20% or less assigned to service members who were discharged between September 11, 2001 and December 31, 2009. The PDBR uses medical information provided by the ...

Recommended Content:

Physical Disability Board of Review | Physical Disability | Conditions and Treatments | PDBR Application Process | PDBR Outcome

Labyrinth: This path is made for mindful walking

Article
9/27/2018
Wounded warriors at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence are introduced to the indoor labyrinth during early days of their four-week intensive outpatient treatment program. (Photo courtesy of NICoE)

NICoE uses ancient symbol to promote healing

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care | Traumatic Brain Injury | Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy

Soldier amputees have options for continued service

Article
9/17/2018
Army Col. Todd R. Wood, commander of the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, administers the oath of re-enlistment to Army Staff Sgt. Brian Beem, left, then a cavalry scout assigned to the 5th Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, at Forward Operating Base Frontenac, Afghanistan, Nov. 9, 2011. Beem is a single-leg amputee who was able to continue to serve despite his injury. He lost his leg after an improvised explosive device detonated during his 2006 deployment to Iraq. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Thomas Duval)

The will to serve alone is not enough to overcome the severity of their injury

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

Heat rash is common when the mercury climbs

Article
8/14/2018
Heat rash is common in the warm summer months, but military personnel and amputees may be especially at risk. (Courtesy photo)

Anyone can be affected, including children and adults

Recommended Content:

Conditions and Treatments | Public Health

Drug-monitoring innovations help providers help their patients

Article
8/6/2018
Two Military Health System innovations are helping to ensure best practices for patients with pain, and for patients who’ve been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Curt Beach)

Focus is on management of pain and PTSD

Recommended Content:

Innovation | Substance Abuse | Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Helping the healers through the power of mobile technology

Article
7/23/2018
The Provider Resilience app offers health care providers tools to guard against emotional occupational hazards, including compassion fatigue and burnout. An updated version of the app is expected to be released in the fall. (Courtesy photo)

App guards against emotional occupational hazards

Recommended Content:

Technology | Innovation

Soldiers test Army's newest transport telemedicine technology

Article
7/20/2018
Soldiers test MEDHUB during an exercise at Camp Atterbury, Indianapolis. (U.S. Army photo by Greg Pugh)

MEDHUB is really about life-saving situational awareness

Recommended Content:

Technology | Innovation

Air Force, NASA seek potential medical collaboration

Article
7/19/2018
David Loftus M.D., PH.D, medical officer and principal investigator space biometrics research branch, NASA Ames Research Center, meets with members of the 60th Medical Group at Travis Air Force Base, California. NASA and David Grant Medical Center are meeting for a potential collaboration between the two organizations to help in future space exploration. (U.S. Air Force photo by Louis Briscese)

NASA and the military share a lot of similar medical issues

Recommended Content:

Innovation

Navy Care app enables medical appointments from work, home

Article
7/13/2018
A Sailor uses the Navy Care app on her cell phone for a virtual health visit with a Naval Hospital Jacksonville provider. Navy Care enables patients to have a live video visit with a clinician on a smartphone, tablet, or computer. It’s private, secure, and free. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Jacob Sippel)

The app delivers convenient care with the quality of a face-to-face visit

Recommended Content:

Technology | Innovation

Living with aphasia and the long road to regain language capabilities

Article
6/11/2018
Aphasia is a disorder that results from damage to portions of the brain that are responsible for language. It impairs the expression and understanding of language as well as reading and writing.

Roughly 1 million Americans currently have aphasia, a condition that impairs the ability to express and/or understand language, and nearly 180,000 Americans are diagnosed with it every year.

Recommended Content:

Conditions and Treatments | Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy

All in with medical support during Warrior Games

Article
6/5/2018
About 60 medical professionals in the Military Health System have volunteered to work at the DoD Warrior Games to support competitors including Army 1st Sgt. Jay Collins (above), who's scheduled to run, cycle, and row - among other events - as a member of the U.S. Special Operations Command team. (Photo courtesy USSOCOM Office of Communication)

Altitude will be latest challenge for athletes

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

Best job in military health? For these men, it’s nursing

Article
5/8/2018
Nurse Manny Santiago (right) with retired Marine Corps Sgt. Carlos Evans in October at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Santiago said he “had the privilege of taking care of this young man” after Evans stepped on an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan in May 2010 during his fourth combat deployment. The two men discovered they’re both from the same hometown in Puerto Rico. (Courtesy photo)

Males outnumbered, but odds are better in MHS

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

From an award ceremony to panel talks, senior leaders will have presence at HIMSS

Article
3/8/2018
Vice Adm. Raquel Bono, director of Defense Health Agency, will be honored as a recipient of the HIMSS Most Influential Women in Health IT Awards on March 8 in Las Vegas.

Federal health, IT experts come together for discussion on hot topics

Recommended Content:

Access to Health Care | Innovation | Patient Safety | Quality and Safety of Health Care (for Healthcare Professionals) | Research and Innovation

Air Force robotic surgery training program aims at improving patient outcomes

Article
2/9/2018
Air Force Col. Debra Lovette (left), 81st Training Wing commander, receives a briefing from Air Force 2nd Lt. Nina Hoskins, 81st Surgical Operations squadron room nurse, on robotics surgery capabilities inside the robotics surgery clinic at Keesler Medical Center, Mississippi. The training program stood up in March 2017 and has trained surgical teams within the Air Force and across the Department of the Defense. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue).

Robotic surgery is becoming the standard of care for many specialties and procedures

Recommended Content:

Technology | Innovation | Military Hospitals and Clinics

Second lady Karen Pence advocates art therapy for wounded warriors

Article
2/8/2018
Second Lady Karen Pence (right), speaks with Army Col. David Gibson, commander of the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center, during a roundtable discussion about the National Intrepid Center of Excellence Satellite Center's art therapy program at Fort Hood, Texas. Pence has been touring Creative Forces Military Healing Arts networks at military facilities as part of her advocacy for the use of art therapy to help heal service members suffering from traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress. (U.S. Army photo by Patricia Deal)

Pence's passion is driven by the human and scientific evidence of art therapy's healing properties

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 11

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing: Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.