Scientists identify genes linked to ulcerative colitis

Last Updated: Thu, Mar 18, 2010 11:20 hrs

A research team led by Cedars-Sinai scientists has identified genes linked to ulcerative colitis, one of the most common types of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).

The researchers analysed genes of about 13,000 patients to find which parts of the genome are linked to ulcerative colitis. The study showed more than 30 regions of the genome are connected to the risk of developing ulcerative colitis.

Dermot P.B. McGovern, primary author and director of Translational Medicine for the Inflammatory Bowel and Immunobiology Research Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, said: "This gives us a number of insights into the disease.

"An increased understanding of the genetics gives us some insight into what causes ulcerative colitis and will potentially help us identify new therapies for ulcerative colitis."

Understanding the genetics of the disease may also reveal why the condition varies so much from patient to patient in severity, symptoms and response to therapies. According to McGovern, this can lead to a more personalized approach to treating ulcerative colitis patients. For instance, besides more effectively matching currently available medications to patients, the study may help identify entirely new avenues for research, enabling doctors to develop new treatments for ulcerative colitis.

The study has appeared in Nature Genetics. (ANI)

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