Gene Research May Lead To Celiac Drug Search

Studies on the genetic links to celiac disease are leading to more research and new and more effective treatment, an exciting prospect for celiacs who may want to enjoy some gluten now and then!

David van Heel, a gastrointestinal genetics professor at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, headed a group of researchers from around the world who studied the genetic maps of more than 9,400 celiacs. They have found what they term “substantial” evidence that the genes which are connected with celiac disease are also linked to other autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.

As a result, scientists are able to understand how the genetic risk factors for the disease operate—by changing the number of immune system genes that cells make. Furthermore, it is now understood that there are “hundreds” of genetic risk factors, which means that scientists should be able to “have a good guess at nearly half of the genetic risks at present,” van Heel wrote in the Nature Genetics journal in his published study.

We can look forward to more research, more awareness, and perhaps even a pill! Meanwhile, it’s best to keep doing our parts to raise awareness and funds for research.

Tina Turbin

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I'm a cookbook-collecting, recipe-developing paleo junkie, and I live in the kitchen. I'm hooked on farmers' markets, traveling, eating healthy, and hiking until my legs scream at me. There's nothing better than hanging out with family and good friends. I have fun and sleeping is just plain boring. Read more About Tina Turbin.

5 thoughts on “Gene Research May Lead To Celiac Drug Search

  1. I get a little scared when people mention the word “drug,” with side effects and everything, but I’m remaining optimistic about this one.

  2. Great news! There seems to be a lot of genetic research these days. I long for the day I can write the word celiac in one of these comment boxes without having it underlined as an unrecognized, misspelled word!

  3. Gene research sounds very interesting to me. Has it been successful with any other autoimmune disorders as far as drug therapy is concerned?

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