NSU Scientists and Foreign Colleagues Identify Back Pain Causes

In their previous study that was published in September 2018, NSU scientists and their foreign colleagues identified three new genetic variants associated with chronic back pain based on data collected from 158,000 people. This work was then expanded by examining data from 509,000 people. The results of this study were published in the journal of the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP), “PAIN”.

On the genetic level, the linkage between back pain and symptoms of depression, neuroticism, sleep disorders, overweight, and smoking was identified. They discovered that the genes associated with this symptom are significantly represented in the biological pathways involved in the development of the central nervous system and skeletal tissue. The results suggest the presence of at least two strong molecular axis as the genesis of back pain. One of these is related to structural / anatomical factors, such as intervertebral disc problems and anthropometry, and the second is related to the psychological component of pain perception and transmission.

Yakov Tsepilov, Candidate of Biological Sciences and Senior Researcher at the TAFGL, talked about their research,

This new data supports the current biopsychosocial model as a paradigm for back pain. Overall, the results demonstrate that back pain has an extremely complex genetic architecture that intersects a genetic predisposition with biopsychosocial risk factors. The work sheds light on possible options for the prevention and treatment of back pain.

The results of this and other ongoing studies of genetic associations by NSU TAFGL scientists are targeted at establishing the goals for therapeutic intervention and the means for treatment of musculoskeletal pain.

In addition to this work, TAFGL scientists previously published their research on chronic diseases that found that every eight years of aging doubles the risk of their occurrence.