Today marks the beginning of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Awareness Week, established by Congress in 2011 to bring attention to the condition that affects more than 1.5 million Americans. As part of that effort, we’ll be putting up a few IBD related posts this week. Last year, 23andMe partnered with Pfizer to learn more about how genetics and environment play a roll in IBD and how it may influence how individuals respond to treatment.
We are getting closer to our goal of recruiting 10,000 participants in our study, passing the halfway mark several months ago. Unlike traditional studies that might require travel to a clinic, blood draws or calls with nurse practitioners, 23andMe’s study allows people with IBD to participate from home. IBD is an umbrella diagnosis that includes such conditions as Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis. It often hits young people between the ages of 15 and 25, and can lead to severe pain, diarrhea, fever, intestinal bleeding and drastic weight loss. The toll it takes on those with the condition and their family can be devastating. One of those diagnosed is actor and model Dane Johnson, who first learned he had ulcerative colitis four years ago when he was 22. Dane, who recently joined 23andMe’s IBD research community, talks about how his condition has impacted his life and how he’s doing what he can to overcome it, including participating in important research.