Charity supporters give hope to victims of Crohn’s disease – but more funds are needed

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Supporters of local charity Cure Crohn’s Colitis (C3) in East Dunbartonshire are 
helping it play a key role in the battle to find the cause of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

The charity is embarking on a four-year £475,000 research project, PREdiCCT, to find the environmental factors which trigger the two devastating inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD).

Scotland has one of the highest rates of IBD in the world. In young people, the incidence has doubled every 10 years for the past four decades. It is a devastating and life-long condition causing severe abdominal pain, sickness, extreme fatigue and diarrhea.

C3, founded by Glasgow businessman Ivor Tiefenbrun MBE, who suffers from ulcerative colitis, has secured a £225,000 grant from the Scottish Government’s Chief Scientist Office for the research.

C3 has donated £125,000 from the charity’s own funds, which includes more than £1,000 raised by Bearsden 10k runner Conor Brolly, who, along with team-mates, collected more than £1,000 on behalf of old school pal Taylor Deans who has ulcerative colitis.

Researchers hope the study, called PREdiCCT, will help determine if environmental factors, especially diet, and gut bacteria play a part in developing the condition and influence the severity of the disease.

The project will involve 1500 IBD patients currently in remission. If the research is successful, it will help scientists to design better treatments.

One of the co-investigators in the research team is Glasgow consultant gastroenterologist Dr Daniel Gaya, who is on the board of trustees at C3.

Dr Gaya said: “IBD is a common cause of chronic ill-health among young people in Scotland which has one of the highest incidences of it in the world. An estimated 1 in 200 adults and 1 in 2000 children will develop the disease.

“Understanding who gets severe, progressive disease and why, is an urgent research priority. Accurate prediction of these patients will enable precise, tailored intervention early in the disease course.

“The major aim of this study is to identify the environmental – especially dietary – and gut bacteria factors that predispose to disease flare and influence disease outcomes in IBD.”

Researchers hope the study, called PREdiCCT, will help determine if environmental factors, especially diet, and gut bacteria play a part in developing the condition and influence the severity of the disease.

The project will involve 1500 IBD patients currently in remission. If the research is successful, it will help scientists to design better treatments.

“The major aim of this study is to identify the environmental – especially dietary – and gut bacteria factors that predispose to disease flare and influence disease outcomes in IBD.”

Ivor, who is chairman of Linn Products near Eaglesham in south Glasgow, said: “I am delighted that C3 has received the award from the Chief Scientist Office for a study into the environmental factors in Crohn’s and colitis.

“We are hopeful of a start to a productive enquiry into a perhaps neglected aspect of IBD, namely the triggers that cause its flare up. I want to thank everyone involved in helping to get this project off the ground.”

TV magician Dynamo, who suffers from IBD is a supporter of the charity.

He said: “It’s a fantastic charity. I have suffered from Crohn’s disease for 15 years now and a cure is desperately needed.

“This research is providing real hope of new treatments. Please give any donation you can to this great charity.”

To donate or find out more about C3, visit www.curecrohnscolitis.org, email info@curecrohnscolitis.org or call 0141 307 7777.