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...

Fourth annual Warrior Care in the 21st Century Symposium forges path ahead

Article
1/4/2019
Mr. Bret Stevens, director of disability evaluation systems, DoD Health Services Policy and Oversight and United States WC21 co-chair (left), Air Vice-Marshal Tracy Smart, surgeon general, Australian Defence Force (center), and Air Commodore Rich Withnall, United Kingdom WC21 co-chair (right) pose for a photo. Senior representatives from 11 nations discussed warrior care challenges, lessons learned, and innovations during this year’s event. (Photo courtesy from the Australian Defence Force)

The WC21 coalition facilitates global sharing of best practices and lessons learned in medical and non-medical military health care

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

DHA PI 6025.14: Active Duty Service Member (ADSM) Erythrocyte Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase (G6PD) Deficiency and Sickle Cell Trait (SCT) Screening

Policy

This Defense Health Agency-Procedural Instruction (DHA-PI), based on the authority of References (a) and (b), and in accordance with the guidance of References (c) through (o), establishes Defense Health Agency’s (DHA) procedures to implement Reference (d), for erythrocyte G6PD deficiency and SCT screening at the appropriate points: during entry to the Military Services (at appointment, enlistment, or induction (Reference (j)), at pre-deployment, and at other points as indicated for validation of results (per References (k), (m), and (n)).

Resiliency as part of the healing process

Article
11/21/2018
Caleb Jones tunes a guitar before taking part in the music session with Rock to Recovery. The music workshop is part of a holistic healing approach meant to be part of a restorative care approach for long-term success in recovery and resiliency. The Air Force Wounded Warrior Program is celebrating Warrior Care Month during the 2018 NE Central Warrior CARE Event at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, and the National Harbor. The annual recognition showcases the military services programs for caring for wounded, ill, and injured service men and women and their families. (U.S. Air Force photo by Shawn Sprayberry).

The Air Force Wounded Warrior Program kicked off its Northeast Region Warrior CARE Event at the National Harbor

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

There is help for anyone caring for a service member

Article
11/19/2018
PEER Forums are available to anyone caring for a wounded, ill or injured service member and are not restricted to family members. (Courtesy graphic)

PEER Forums provide military caregivers a forum to share experiences and provide each other support

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

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
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 10

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.