MFT researchers find chromosomal changes implicated in disease linked to social and economic disadvantage

Researchers from the Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine (MCGM) have found that chromosomal changes implicated in disease are linked to social and economic disadvantage.

Dr George Burghel, Principal Clinical Scientist at the MCGM is the first author of the paper published in the BMJ Journal of Medical Genetics yesterday. Dr Siddharth Banka, Honorary Consultant Clinical Geneticist at MCGM, based at Saint Mary’s Hospital at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT), is the corresponding author.

The paper summarises the findings from 473 families, and Dr Burghel and Dr Banka, along with their colleagues, say the results demonstrate that chromosome changes which cause diseases are also correlated with social and economic disadvantage.

Dr Banka, who is also a Clinical Senior Lecturer at the University of Manchester, said: “Chromosomes are the thread-like structures found in the nuclei of all living cells. They carry genetic information in the form of genes.

It has long been thought that genetic conditions may affect the social and economic status of patients and their families, but few studies have tested this theory – until now.


A photo of Dr George Burghel

Dr George Burghel

Dr Burghel added: “It’s great to see the results of our research published in such a prestigious medical journal, and to be able to add to the evidence base in this important, developing area of research.

We hope that this work and other studies can in the future positively inform policy makers planning medical and social services.

You can read more about the study and its findings on the BMJ website.