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Researchers link Type 1 diabetes and Crohn’s disease

The Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium (WTCCC) today published findings from its £9 million, two-year study. Researchers have discovered a gene called PTPN2 which links Type 1 diabetes and Crohn’s disease. They have also found several new Type 2 diabetes genes, which they announced in April of this year.

The WTCCC has been looking at the genetics behind seven common conditions including diabetes, Crohn’s disease and coronary heart disease.

"The discovery of a gene linking Type 1 diabetes and Crohn's disease is extremely interesting," said Matt Hunt, Science Information Manager at Diabetes UK.

"This new finding helps us to put together more pieces of the puzzle for these very serious conditions. The more we can understand about the genetics of Type 1 diabetes and Crohn's disease, the closer we get to new treatments and possible cures.”

Dr Iain Frame, Research Manager at Diabetes UK, added: "The WTCCC has been an excellent example of collaborative working and has produced some exciting results about the genetics of Type 2 diabetes.

"It is important to remember that Type 2 diabetes is a genetic condition which is not only associated with lifestyle factors. The more we unravel about the genetics of Type 2 diabetes, the bigger the steps we take towards new ways to treat and prevent the condition. 

"Diabetes UK funded the original collection of case samples for Type 2 diabetes at the beginning of this study. It is thanks to the joint efforts of Diabetes UK, a number of excellent researchers and the Wellcome Trust that these discoveries have been possible."

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