Gout patients have an elevated uric acid level in their blood. Excessive amounts of uric acid can cause crystals to form in the joints causing pain, swelling, redness, and stiffness. Researchers from Lausanne University in Switzerland report in Nature magazine that they now know the mechanism which triggers the inflammation associated with gout. According to researchers, uric acid crystals trigger inflammasome (a molecular complex which "activates and generates" interleukin-1). Interleukin-1 (IL-1) is involved in regulating inflammatory responses. Lausanne researchers suggest that inhibitor drugs in development may help prevent gout in the future.