Montreal scientists and their international colleagues have closed in on specific genes responsible for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) from a list of over 600 genes that were suspects for the disease. Professor John D. Rioux and his team at the Montreal Heart Institute and Université de Montréal, along with their colleagues with the International IBD Genetics Consortium, which brings together over 100 geneticists, gastroenterologists, and other researchers, combined efforts to produce a high resolution map to investigate which genetic variants have a causal role in the disease.

In the new study, published June 28 in Nature, scientists examined the genome of 67,852 individuals and applied three statistical methods to zoom in on which genetic variants were actively implicated in the disease. Of the 94 regions of the genome associated with IBD that were studied, 18 could be pin-pointed to a single genetic variant with more than 95 per cent certainty. The results form a basis for more effective prescription of current treatments for the disease as well as the discovery of new drug targets.

This research was funded, among others, by Genome Canada and CIHR Genomics and Personalized Health Contest for the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Genomics Medicine Consortium (iGenoMed), led by Professor John Rioux.

Source: Montreal Heart Institute (MHI)

To read the complete MHI press release, click here.

To read the article in Nature, click here.