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Crohn's & Colitis Foundation Opens DNA Data Bank
Date:9/24/2009

Powerful New Resource to Advance Understanding of Disease Genetics

New York, New York (Vocus) September 24, 2009 -- The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation today announced the launch of its DNA Data Bank, a newly created resource containing DNA samples and detailed phenotype data on a large number of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis patients. Enhancing research into genetic markers and determinants that affect risk for these diseases (collectively known as inflammatory bowel disease or IBD), is a priority for researchers seeking to understand the underlying disease process in order to improve disease treatment and prevention.

"At the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation we believe that genetic research has the potential to advance our understanding of the etiologies and natural histories of the various forms of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis," says Marjorie Merrick, Vice President of Research for the Foundation. "The launch of the DNA Data Bank symbolizes that we are within reach of our long term goal of improving treatment and minimizing the overall impact of Crohn's and colitis."

Affecting over 1.4 million Americans of all ages, lifetime risk for developing IBD is 10 to 20 times higher for close family members (siblings or offspring) of persons with IBD than it is for the general population. This strongly suggests that genetic factors may play an important role in determining whether an individual develops IBD.

Blood samples were obtained from patients with well-characterized Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis. Samples were then collected from each patient's parents, or, if one or both parents we
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