For people battling Inflammatory Bowel Disease — an umbrella diagnosis that includes serious digestive conditions such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis IBD Image — it’s easy to feel isolated and alone.
There currently are very few medicines to treat the condition, which affects an estimated 1.4 million people in the United States. Those with IBD often feel embarrassed by their symptoms, enduring on their own the severe abdominal pain, cramping, inflammation, and diarrhea that often accompany the condition.
23andMe wants to change that with its new study of IBD.
23andMe is collaborating with Pfizer Inc. to learn more about what role genetics and environment play in the development of IBD as well as how the condition progresses. We hope this research will give scientists new insight into the disease.
“We are excited to team up with Pfizer to take an innovative, consumer-centered approach to understanding the fundamentals of inflammatory bowel disease and the variability of treatment response,” said 23andMe CEO and Co-Founder, Anne Wojcicki.
23andMe is using the unique research model that it developed to study other diseases. Our research model is different in that it allows people to participate from home and to do so anonymously. Traditional research often involves travel to clinics or research facilities, blood tests and even drug trials. Because individuals can participate from home using internet access, 23andMe’s research offers people who might not be able to participate otherwise a simple and non-intrusive way to get involved in important research.
Our goal is to enlist 10,000 people in this effort. To those who participate we will give updates not just on the progress of our recruitment efforts but on the status of the research as well. 23andMe can’t promise that this work will lead to a cure or to new treatments but our researchers do pledge to keep participants informed of our work.
You can learn more about this research or how to participate here. Participants do not just help drive important research – they can also explore their own genetic information using 23andMe’s unique tools.
- You have been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis by a qualified physician.
- Your willingness to submit a saliva sample for DNA testing and complete online surveys related to your condition.
- You have access to the internet.
- You are at least 6 years old (those under 18 require a parental consent to enroll).
- You are not a current 23andMe customer.*
- You reside in the United States.*If you are a current 23andMe customer, learn how you can participate here.