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The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation enhances research of IBD


NEW YORK The Crohn's and Colitis Foundation on Friday announced the launch of its DNA Data Bank, a newly created resource containing DNA samples and detailed phenotype data on a large number of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis patients. Enhancing research into genetic markers and determinants that affect risk for these diseases, collectively known as inflammatory bowel disease, is a priority for researchers seeking to understand the underlying disease process in order to improve disease treatment and prevention, the foundation stated.

"At the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation we believe that genetic research has the potential to advance our understanding of the etiologies and natural histories of the various forms of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis," stated Marjorie Merrick, VP research for the Foundation. "The launch of the DNA Data Bank symbolizes that we are within reach of our long term goal of improving treatment and minimizing the overall impact of Crohn's and colitis."

Affecting more than 1.4 million Americans, lifetime risk for developing IBD is 10 to 20 times higher for close family members (siblings or offspring) of persons with IBD than it is for the general population. This strongly suggests that genetic factors may play an important role in determining whether an individual develops IBD.

Blood samples were obtained from patients with well-characterized Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis. Samples were then collected from each patient's parents, or, if one or both parents were deceased, from unaffected age- and sex-matched controls sampled from the general population.

The new data bank is available to qualified investigators in the scientific community for innovative studies of genetic markers related to IBD, the Foundation noted.

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