UP: KGMU study identifies new blood marker

Lucknow, April 1 (IANS) Researchers at King George’s Medical University (KGMU) in Lucknow Uttar Pradesh (UP) have identified a blood marker called TNFα (tumour necrosis factor-alpha) that can aid in the earlier detection and treatment of various health conditions, including chronic gum disease (periodontitis), obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) and heart disease.

The study, titled ‘To evaluate the relationship of obstructive sleep apnoea with chronic periodontitis and its association with coronary artery disease by assessing serum tumour necrosis factor’, was recently published in the ‘The Egyptian Journal of Internal Medicine’.

The researchers, led by MDS student Dr Shilpi Gupta at the Department of Periodontology, emphasised the significance of TNFα as a crucial blood marker for the early detection and treatment of these health conditions.

Dr Gupta explained: “By utilising TNFα, we can potentially enhance the treatment and management of these diseases, as there hasn’t been a reliable marker for them previously. For instance, we analysed periodontal pocket depth for periodontitis and conducted angiography for heart disease.”

She said that they had examined 300 individuals with gum disease, sleep issues (OSA) and heart disease, comparing them to 300 healthy counterparts.

Blood samples were collected from each participant and analysed for TNFα levels using specialised PCR kits.

They discovered significantly higher TNFα levels in the affected group, averaging at 54 compared to 38 in the healthy group. This suggests elevated TNFα levels in individuals suffering from all three conditions.

Dr Gupta said, “Findings also suggest a potential link between chronic periodontitis and CHD, as indicated by differences in TNFα levels.”

Prof Umesh Pratap Verma, who supervised the research, emphasised, “Traditionally, dentists have lacked reliable tools to track gum disease progression. This research underscores the potential of TNFα as a biomarker for early detection of not only gum disease but also sleep apnoea and predicting heart disease severity.”



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