A certain type of adverse drug reaction could be predicted by using gene screening, a Brief Communication in the 01 April 2004 issue of Nature (Vol. 428, No. 6982, p. 486) suggests.
Yuan-Tsong Chen and colleagues studied the genetic make-up of 44 Han Chinese patients with a form of Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) - a potentially life-threatening condition associated with extreme skin inflammation and triggered by the seizure-calming drug carbamazepine. The team found that sufferers all carry the same variant of a particular gene, whereas people without this genetic 'marker' do not react against the drug.
The discovery should enable researchers to formulate a predictive genetic test for carbamazepine-induced SJS in Chinese populations, and aid understanding of the condition itself.
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