Monday, June 30, 2008

Big haul of Crohn's genes shows disease complexity

By Ben Hirschler

LONDON (Reuters) - Scientists have linked 32 genetic variations to Crohn's disease, a bowel disorder, highlighting the complexity of many common diseases and the difficulties facing researchers seeking treatments.

Scientists said on Sunday that new research had tripled the number of genetic regions implicated in Crohn's, the most common form of inflammatory bowel disease, and many more were probably still undiscovered.

"These explain only about a fifth of the genetic risk, which implies that there may be hundreds of genes implicated in the disease, each increasing susceptibility by a small amount," said Jeffrey Barrett from the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics at the University of Oxford, who led the research.

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