Posts Categorized: News & Information

Rise of Celiac Disease Still Stumps Scientists

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[10/28/14] Two new studies in the New England Journal of Medicine rocked the world of celiac research, both proving that scientists have a ways to go in their understanding of celiac disease, which affects about 1% of the population, whether they know it or not. The first study from Italy wondered if the age at which gluten is introduced into the diet could affect a person’s likelihood of developing the autoimmune disease—so they kept gluten away from newborns for a year. To the shock of the researchers, delaying exposure to gluten didn’t make a difference in the long run. In some cases it delayed the onset of the disease, but it didn’t stop people from developing the disease, for which… Read more..

Research Breakthrough That May Alter IBD Therapy

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[10/20/14] Professor of surgery J. Calvin Coffey is refuting a century’s worthy of knowledge about abdominal anatomy, claiming it is wrong and remapping the human mesentery as has never been done before. If proven correct, the research led by  the University of Limerick (UL) Graduate Entry Medical School (GEMS) may change the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases, leading to less invasive surgeries, fewer complications, faster patient recovery, and lower overall costs. “The blood vessels which supply the gastrointestinal tract (gut) travel through the mesentery — a structure which attaches the intestine to the abdominal walls, and holds it in place and defends against the spread of disease, including cancer,” explained Coffey. “However, for over 100 years the anatomy of the mesentery has been incorrectly described. Our research… Read more..

Natural Molecule Can Reverse Autoimmune Disease Response

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[10/14/14] Researchers at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA, reported the results of a new study investigating a natural molecule that can be used as a potential treatment to reverse autoimmune response and disease progression. The research team discovered that NAD+, a natural molecule present in living cells, plants, and food have the ability to change the immune response of ‘destructive’ autoimmune cells into ‘protective’ cells. NAD+ can also restore tissues that have been damaged by autoimmunity, in turn reversing autoimmune disease progression. Using autoimmune encephalomyelitis, a preclinical model for human multiple sclerosis, the team found that NAD+ blocks acute or chronic inflammation by modulating the differentiation of CD4+ T immune cells. Mice that received the immune cells with… Read more..

Does virus caught by mom cause diabetes in fetus?

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[10/6/14] The incidence of type 1 childhood diabetes has been increasing rapidly worldwide. If blood sugar levels aren’t well-controlled, juvenile diabetes can affect nearly every organ of a child’s body. And while long-term complications of the disease develop gradually, they may become disabling and even life-threatening. The exact cause of juvenile diabetes has eluded scientists, but a new study from Tel Aviv University suggests a likely trigger before birth. In a recent paper published in Diabetic Medicine, Prof. Zvi Laron, Professor Emeritus of Pediatric Endocrinology at TAU’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Director of the Endocrinology and Diabetes Research Unit at Schneider Children’s Medical Center of Israel, and Head of the WHO Collaborating Center for the Study of Diabetes in Youth,… Read more..

Gluten timing in babies does not prevent celiac disease

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[10/4/14] Two studies give disappointing news for parents looking for a way to prevent celiac disease in babies at higher risk for it because of family history. Neither breast-feeding nor timing the start of gluten-containing foods makes a difference in whether a child develops the problem, researchers found. There is no early window of opportunity to help sensitize a baby to gluten, and delaying its start until 1 year of age just briefly postpones the onset of symptoms, the studies found. “We don’t have a recipe to prevent it right now,” said Dr. Alessio Fasano, director of the Center for Celiac Research and Treatment at Massachusetts General Hospital. He helped lead one of the studies, which are in this week’s New… Read more..

British scientists say diabetes could be cured

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[9/29/14] Scientists say diabetes could be cured after compelling evidence revealed that juvenile-onset or type-1 diabetes and type-2 diabetes are both caused by the formation of toxic clumps of a hormone called amylin, stopping the cells producing insulin. Professor Garth Cooper, from The University of Manchester with his University of Auckland-based research team, led the study. The discovery could change the lives of millions of people who are suffering from the disease. “As well as producing insulin, cells in the pancreas also produce another hormone called amylin. Insulin and amylin normally work together to regulate the body’s response to food intake. If they are no longer produced, then levels of sugar in the blood rise resulting in diabetes and causing damage… Read more..

Math model designed to replace invasive kidney biopsy for lupus patients

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[9/24/14] In a new study, researchers developed a math model that can predict the progression from nephritis – kidney inflammation – to interstitial fibrosis, scarring in the kidney that current treatments cannot reverse. A kidney biopsy is the only existing way to reach a definitive diagnosis of the damage and its extent. The model could also be used to monitor the effectiveness of experimental treatments for inflammation and fibrosis. This fibrosis can follow development of lupus nephritis, which occurs in about 60 percent of lupus patients, according to the National Institutes of Health. Inflammation is linked to the most common type of lupus, called systemic lupus erythematosus. The cause of lupus is unknown and it cannot be cured. The research is published… Read more..

Specialized Psychotherapy Shown to Help Those with Rheumatoid Arthritis

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[9/17/14] New research from Wayne State and Duke universities suggests a non-pharmaceutical approach can help individuals cope with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). RA is a serious autoimmune disease that affects one to two percent of adults, a painful condition that can cause disability and joint disfigurement. The disease causes serious stress and can disrupt work, family life, and marital functioning. While many pharmacological advances help some RA patients, residual pain and disability is common. And some patients avoid newer medications due to their high cost or side effects. Because of this, researchers are looking at psychosocial interventions such as cognitive-behavioral and emotional processing approaches. A new paper by a team of researchers from Wayne State University and collaborators from Duke University Medical Center discussed two… Read more..

Scientists identify how immune cells use two critical receptors to clear dead cells from the body

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[9/8/14] In most of the tissues of the body, specialized immune cells are entrusted with the task of engulfing the billions of dead cells that are generated every day. When these garbage disposals don’t do their job, dead cells and their waste products rapidly pile up, destroying healthy tissue and leading to autoimmune diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. Now, Salk scientists have discovered how two critical receptors on these garbage-eating cells identify and engulf dead cells in very different environments, as detailed today in Nature Immunology.

 “To target these receptors as treatments for autoimmune disease and cancer, it’s important to know exactly which receptor is doing what. And this discovery tells us that,” says senior author of the… Read more..

Scientists say diabetes could be cured: Disease is caused when chunks of the hormone amylin clump together.

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[8/27/14] Editor’s note: This press release received little play in US media. Hope it is not a case of “not discovered here”. A cure for diabetes is a step closer after scientists found what they believe is the root cause of the disease. Scientists say diabetes could be cured after compelling evidence revealed that juvenile-onset or type-1 diabetes and type-2 diabetes are both caused by the formation of toxic clumps of a hormone called amylin, stopping the cells producing insulin. Professor Garth Cooper, from The University of Manchester with his University of Auckland-based research team, led the study. The discovery could change the lives of millions of people who are suffering from the disease. “As well as producing insulin, cells in the… Read more..