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| Autoimmune Diseases
Researchers find common genetic risk factors for Crohn's and celiac disease
Updated: 2011-01-31 12:46:48 CST Category: Autoimmune Diseases
Individuals who have received a positive celiac disease test are significantly more likely to also develop Crohn's disease at some point in their lifetime. A new study has shown that this may be due to the fact that the two diseases share some of the same genetic causes. The information could lead to improved treatments for both conditions.
Researchers from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands said that genetic alterations in two areas of DNA appear to increase the risk of developing one or both of the diseases.
The fact that celiac and Crohn's disease share some of the same risk factors make sense, the researchers said. They are both inflammatory bowel diseases caused by irregular immune system reactions in the digestive tract. In this regard, they can be very similar.
However, where celiac disease is sparked by a reaction to wheat, barley and rye products, Croh's disease is thought to be caused by a reaction to certain bacteria in the gut.
The researchers said that understanding these genetic factors that play into the development of the conditions could help them design improved treatments for one or both of the conditions.
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