More genes identified for Crohn’s Disease

December 13, 2012 at 5:24 pm 2 comments

Last week, I wrote about Crohn’s Disease and genetics. Now, a week later, a new study identified even more genes that could be linked to Crohn’s Disease, bringing the total number of genes associated with the disease from 163 to more than 200!

Scientists at University College London recently came up with a new method for identifying genes for complex diseases, like Crohn’s. In doing so, they were able to identify more than 200 genes associated with Crohn’s- more than have been found for any other known disease.

Here’s an interesting quote about the study from an article from Science Daily.

Dr Nikolas Maniatis, senior author from the UCL Research Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment, said: “The discovery of so many gene locations for Crohn’s Disease is an important step forward in understanding the disease, which has a very complicated genetic basis. We hope that the method we have used here can be used to identify the genes involved in other diseases which are similarly complex, for example different cancers and diabetes.”

Doctors typically don’t do genetic testing for Crohn’s or UC, unless its for research purposes, since the link is still so widely debated. However, with more and more genes being discovered, I wonder if more patients will be genetically tested for the diseases.

Right now, Prometheus, a diagnostic testing company, has a NOD2/CARD15 that is used to identify genes in Crohn’s patients. According to the company’s website,

“…is a test to evaluate certain genetic variants for patients diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. Detection of one or more NOD2/CARD15 genetic mutations suggests a risk of having more severe symptoms and complications of the disease. This testis used to help establish a prognosis that may help guide treatment decisions by you and your doctor.”

The same company also has an IBD diagnostic test that uses serologic, genetic, and inflammation markers for diagnostic clarity. This test, IBD sgi Diagnostic, is supposed to help doctors differentiate between IBD and non-IBD and Crohn’s Disease and UC in one blood test.

The idea of genetic testing for Crohn’s and UC is extremely interesting. I look forward to the day when a test is developed that shows the likelihood of passing IBD along from parent to child.


Entry filed under: Genetics. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

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Brian Greenberg

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