Volunteers needed for study on inflammatory bowel disease

People in Somerset living with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are being invited to take part in a UK wide research study which looks at developing new and better treatments.

IBD is mainly used to describe ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, long-term debilitating conditions which involve inflammation of the gut.

They can affect people of any age and while there are a number of treatments for IBD, there is currently no cure.

But a new study led by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) – the IBD BioResource hopes to change this, and Musgrove Park Hospital is one of the sites signed up to recruit patients.

Dr Emma Wesley, consultant gastroenterologist at Musgrove Park Hospital, said: “Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are debilitating conditions that can affect people of any age. “In recent years there have been major advances in both understanding the cause of IBD and an increase in the range of treatments available.

“These advances relate mainly to genetic factors and how these influence the immune system of people who develop IBD. “The challenge now is to translate this new knowledge into treatments and use it as a
platform to drive towards a cure for IBD.”

Joy Rowe, pharmacist, Corinne Pawley, clinical trials officer, Emma Wesley, consultant gastroenterologist, Alison Courtney, assistant research manager, Ian Bodger, research mla, and Ali Moss, gastro research nurse.

The IBD BioResource will allow scientists and researchers to access groups of people with IBD who have a specific genetic make-up or clinical features to ask focused questions about the disease and develop treatments.

The range of projects will be wide, and anyone taking part will be free to opt in or out of future projects as they wish.

Emma added: “We’re hoping to recruit around 300 patients over the next three years, and there is no age limit. Initial participation is via a blood test and questionnaire and can be arranged by contacting Ali Moss, gastro research nurse, by emailing gastroresearch@tst.nhs.uk or phoning 01823 343685.”

You can find out more about the research project HERE

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