Most of the difficulty in treating coeliac disease lies in diagnosis. Current methods involve lengthy and unpleasant exposure to gluten, followed by an endoscopy to take samples of the intestinal lining.
This may have resulted in the disease being underdiagnosed. Other serious conditions with similar symptoms can also be misdiagnosed as coeliac disease.
A new breakthrough from an international team of researchers, including Dr Jason A. Tye-Din from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute and The Royal Melbourne Hospital, may be about to change all this.
While running a trial of a potential treatment for coeliac disease, the researchers noted that exposure to gluten causes a rise in certain inflammatory molecules in the bloodstream for people with the condition.
These biomarkers can potentially be used as the basis of a blood test for the disease, which would reduce the testing time to hours and significantly decrease the discomfort caused by diagnosis. The research team that made the initial findings are already working to develop a simple blood test.
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Source: Medical News Today
Gautam G, Tye-Din JA, Qiao S, Russell AK, Mayassi T, Ciszewski C, et al. Cytokine release and gastrointestinal symptoms after gluten challenge in celiac disease. Sci Adv. 2019 Aug 7;
5(8): eaaw7756. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaw7756