New genes seen in Crohn's disease

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Aug. 25, 2008

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A consortium of researchers from the United States, Canada and Europe has identified 21 new genes for Crohn's disease. This finding brings the total number of known genes associated with the chronic intestinal disease to more than 30.

The results, reported in the June 29 online edition of Nature Genetics, are expected to advance understanding of the disease as well as open the way to new potential treatments.

For their study, researchers combined and analyzed samples from three studies, totaling 3,230 people with Crohn's disease and 4,829 unaffected individuals. The large sample size helped researchers implicate new genes in Crohn's whose contributions to the disease were undetectable in previous small studies.

The findings make possible earlier predictions of which patients are at risk for the most serious forms of the disease, thereby permitting earlier treatment to prevent complications, said the researchers.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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