Years in the planning and set-up I’m delighted to announce the formal launch of the PREdiCCt study. We are aiming to find out the cause of disease flare in IBD. What factors are responsible for flares in people with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis who are in clinical remission? PREdiCCt examines a host of data collected at a baseline visit and then follows people over 2 years. Detailed, validated questionnaires about lifestyle, diet, travel, sleep, exercise, and stress are being collected from the comfort of your own home via a dedicated web portal. Saliva samples allow whole genome sequencing of your DNA; stool samples will allow the same for the microbes in your gut. The web portal will contact individuals every month for a brief update, and importantly will check to see if there has been a disease flare.

We will then be able to ascertain the factors at baseline that are associated with flare by comparing those individuals who stay well through the study against those who do not. And then we might be able to start giving some proper, evidence-based advice in the clinic about what to eat if you have IBD and whether or not any other lifestyle changes (e.g. regular exercise) are beneficial. I hope we might also identify genetic and microbial signatures that are associated with disease flare and – importantly – prolonged clinical remission.


Author charlielees

Dr Charlie Lees is a gastroenterologist at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh. He trained at University College London and subsequently in Edinburgh, with doctoral studies at the University of Edinburgh. He works as a full-time NHS consultant whilst maintaining a full research programme and a portfolio of local and international speaking activities. He specialises in the management of people with inflammatory bowel disease and is pursuing a range of innovative digital solutions to transform patient care and education. Following a decade of gene discovery in IBD, Dr Lees’ current research interests focus on the role of environmental factors, including diet, and the microbiota on disease flare and natural history. He is Chief Investigator of the PREdiCCt study, currently recruiting 3000 people with IBD in clinical remission from across the UK. PREdiCCt aims to discover how diet, environmental factors, the gut microbiota and host genetics influence disease flare. He also leads the UK arm of the GEM study, a major international study investigating the underlying cause of Crohn’s disease.  Charlie has been centrally involved with the European Crohn’s and Colitis Organisation over the last 10 years, and is the Chief Scientist Office Scottish Specialty Lead for Gastroenterology. HE co-chairs the International IBD Genetics Consortium management committee and sits on the British Society of Gastroenterology IBD Research Committee. In 2009, he was awarded the prestigious UEG European Rising Star in Gastroenterology Award.

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