Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Dupuytren's Contracture

Researchers in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden conducted a study on Dupuytren's contracture, also known as the "Viking disease". This disease mostly affects aging northern European men, and this study discovered that the prevalence of Dupuytren’s contracture is strongly linked to genetic variants inherited from Neanderthal ancestors. Dupuytren’s contracture has been affecting up to 30% of men over 60 in Northern Europe, by causing their fingers to lock in a bent position which is usually a result of a lump in their palm.

The study analyzed data from almost 8,000 affected individuals, and found 61 potent genetic risk factors that lead to the condition flaring up. Out of 61 potent risk factors, three of them are a result of genes that originate from the DNA of Neanderthals. The meeting between Neanderthals and modern humans continues to influence health outcomes to this day, particularly in certain populations in Northern Europe. The region was home to a lot of Vikings some centuries past, but lead researcher Hugo Zeberg stated that the connection between Neanderthals and Vikings should not be exaggerated.


  1. I have never heard of anything like this! This is very interesting, I am surprised how long this has been around. 61 genetic factors that can contribute to this and 3 of them are from Neanderthals. I found that to be intriguing as well, the fact that there is still DNA being passed from so many years ago is crazy.

  2. I enjoyed reading about this article. I had no idea that Dupuytren’s contracture was even a thing. It was very interesting to read that these genes originated from DNA of the Neanderthals.