Research study at UCL on IBD in the Jewish Population
by Dr Adam P. Levine, Honorary Research Associate and Academic Foundation Doctor and Dr Elena Schiff, Research Coordinator
It appears that there are a number of genetic risk factors for IBD that are either exclusively or more commonly found amongst the Ashkenazi population – some of these have already been identified.
At UCL, a study led by Professor Anthony Segal, is working on characterising the nature of the genetic predisposition to IBD amongst the Ashkenazi Jewish population. This research is conducted to provide important insight into the mechanism of the disease and to hopefully contribute to our ability to predict the risk and severity of disease and to permit the development of new and personalised treatments.
By finding genetic risk factors that are more common in patients with IBD than in people without IBD, it will inform our understanding of the processes that may occur within the body when the disease occurs and this has implications for designing new treatments.
At UCL, we have been recruiting both families with multiple affected individuals and those without a family history. From each participant we ask for a saliva sample, sent in the post at our expense, from which we extract DNA (the genetic material). We speak with each participant and ask for some basic details regarding their family history and their disease.
To date, we have corresponded with over 2,200 individuals and families who are participating in the study. Recruitment is international, and the larger the number of participants, the greater the chance of finding causal genetic variants and the greater the confidence we can attribute to the results.
THIS RESEARCH HAS NOW BEEN COMPLETED – RESULTS TO BE PUBLISHED SHORTLY