Thursday, July 10, 2008

we interrupt the former string of blogness for a news update.  here are a few segments from an email i received today. 

great news!!!  researchers have identified 21 new genetic regions implicated in crohn's disease.  this brings the number to 32 isolated genes and loci.  what does this mean?  it basically means that they are a little closer to a cure...not much...but it's a stepping stone.

here's an exerpt from the article...

"we now know of more than 30 genetic regions that affect susceptibility to crohn's disease.  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," lead author dr. jeffery barrett, of the wellcome trust centre for human genetics at the university of oxford, said in a prepared statement.  "whilst this study shows the power of genome-wide association studies to reveal the genetics behind common diseases, it also highlights the complexity of diseases such as crohn's..."

along with identifiying potential new targets for the development of drugs to treat crohn's, this study found that loci with genes associated with crohn's are also implicated in a number of other diseases such as asthma, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis.  

"it's too early for us to say how crohn's disease and many of these other diseases, including asthma, are linked at a biological level," study co-author dr. miles parkes, consultant gastroenterologist at addenbrooke's hospital and the university of cambridge, said in a prepared statement.  "however, we are building up a picture of the biology underlying crohn's disease, and the more we understand about the underlying biology of these diseases, the better equipped we will be to treat them."

now, this study isn't to say that they are sure crohn's is hereditary.  there are several triggers, or factors, if you will...genetics is one, immune system and even environmental triggers relate.  oh this crazy disease that i have!  i am continually confused...frustrated...angered at the havoc it has wreaked and continues to do so on my body.  and yet, i am fascinated at the complexity of our bodies and how God has made us...allowing in certain instances for our bodies to heal themselves.  He has created our beings and despite being imperfect, we are still magnificent.

good luck figuring us out, you researchers!!!  

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