Why twin research?

(video credit: Open University©)

Research with twins has the potential to contribute transformative insights to our understanding of health and disease for us all. Specifically, twin research can play an important role in understanding the interplay between genes and environment. By studying the differences and similarities between and within twin pairs, crucial insights into complex diseases have been discovered. 

Research with twins can:

  • Estimate the impacts of genetic and environmental factors on why people differ in health and disease
  • Perfectly control for age and gender with a shared rearing environment.
  • Investigate discordance in disease or environment with a matching control; co-twin control study.
  • By naturally matching on variables such as age, gender and environment, twin studies can more readily identify the causes of diseases and health
  • Facilitate projects involving gender and disease with opposite sex pairs
  • Analyse issues relevant specifically to twins.
  • Provide a powerful model for epigenetic studies