Researchers have identified four new regions on the human genome associated with Behcet's disease, a painful and potentially dangerous condition which
causes inflammation of blood vessels in various parts of the body
- the work was aided because the disease is found predominantly in people with ancestors along the Silk Road.
Named for the Turkish physician who described it in 1937, Behcet's disease has no specific genetic or environmental cause but common symptoms include painful mouth and genital sores, and eye inflammation that can lead to blindness. In some cases, it can affect blood vessels in the brain, lungs, and other vital organs.