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.