When studying the pathophysiology of a disease, doctors focus on how the disease develops or progresses in the body. It is the study of whatchanges occur in the human body as the disease gradually takes over it.
This is the most precise method of discovering the progression of a disease. It enables doctors to learn new things about a specific disease and find a cure.
Another widely used term when talking about diseases is their ‘etiology’. In simpler terms, the etiology of a disease discusses or explains the cause behind it.
Although Dupuytren's Contracture was discovered almost 300 years back,scientists are still in the dark when it comes to its etiology. This is one of the major reasons why we still haven’t been able to cure it.
Months of research led to a proper understanding of the pathophysiology of Dupuytren’s contracture.
Dupuytren’s Contracturehas basic pathophysiologythat involves the proliferation of Fibroblast. Fibroblast is a tissue in charge of producing collagen and other necessary fibers.
In the case of Dupuytren’s Contracture, the deposition of collagen starts to increase that ultimately leads to contractures in the Palmar Fascia.
The pathogenesis of Dupuytren’s Contracture has largely originated from hypotheses by scientists. They hypothesize that a person who has a genetic condition of Dupuytren’s may experience an event.
This event can involve alcohol consumption, smoking, or a disease like diabetes. Such an event can damage the nerves present in the brain that serve as a point of connection to other body parts.
Through this event, two major chemical changes occur in the Palmar Fascia.
Thus, begins the production of fibroblasts in the palm. Because of the presence of growth factors, these fibroblasts quickly convert into myofibroblasts.
This process occurs in stage 2-3 of Dupuytren’s Contracture. The real issue in this disease begins after the production of collagen due to the aggressive splicing of fibronectin in the palm.
Next, the ratio of collagen type III begins to increase against type I. This is essentially what causes the pull on the fingers.
This progression of the disease is far more complex than other similar diseases. This is the main reason why Dupuytren’s contracture takes the slow path towards progression.
This is why so many doctors suggest going for early treatment. Early detection and treatment can help slow down the spread of the disease and essentially save the patient from disability.