Cedars-Sinai LogoAn approximate 1.4 million Americans suffer from Inflammatory Bowel Disorder (IBD) and around 30,000 new cases are detected every year. Ulcerative colitis, one of the most general kinds of IBD, is a chronic digestive disorder. It appears to cause inflammation and ulcers in the top layers of the lining of the large intestine. Patients suffering from ulcerative colitis could be at an augmented threat of contracting colorectal cancer.

A study of the human genome headed by Cedars-Sinai scientists seem to encompass recognized genes associated with ulcerative colitis, providing hints as to what causes the condition and possible avenues for new therapies to treat the disease.

The study assessed the genes of almost 13,000 patients to find out which portions of the genome could be associated with ulcerative colitis. It illustrated that over 30 areas of the genome could b related to the danger of developing ulcerative colitis.

“This gives us a number of insights into the disease. An increased understanding of the genetics gives us some insight into what causes ulcerative colitis and will potentially help us indentify new therapies for ulcerative colitis,” commented, Dermot P.B. McGovern, M.D., Ph.D., director of Translational Medicine for the Inflammatory Bowel and Immunobiology Research Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and primary author of the paper.

Comprehending the genetics of the disease could also clarify why the condition appears to differ so much from patient to patient in acuteness, symptoms and response to therapies. McGovern is of the opinion that this could result in a more personalized approach to treat ulcerative colitis patients.

Apart from the more efficiently corresponding presently accessible medications to patients, the study could aid in detecting completely new avenues, thereby facilitating doctors to develop new treatments for ulcerative colitis.

The study was published in Nature Genetics.