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Celiac Disease Research News: 2009

Celiac Disease Research Advances in 2009

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Updated February 15, 2010

Click on the links below to learn more about some of the celiac disease research advances reported in 2009. They are listed in chronological order.

Go back to 2008 or ahead to 2010.

Low Bone Mineral Content in Children with Celiac Disease
January 2009
Doctors at the University of Pennsylvania have published a study on low bone mineral content in children diagnosed with celiac disease. Deficits in bone mineral content can contribute to a child’s risk of eventually developing osteoporosis.

Diagnosing Celiac Disease Yields Economic Benefit for Healthcare System
March 2009
Figuring out which patients have celiac disease can save money for the health care system, according to a report by doctors and insurance executives published late in 2008 in the Journal of Insurance Medicine.

European Researchers Find More Clues to Celiac Disease Genetics
March 2009
There are now 10 established genetic risk factors for celiac disease outside the HLA region. These findings "provide starting points for understanding the disease process, as the genes point to the cellular pathways involved in celiac disease.”

Celiac Disease Vaccine Studies Start in Australia
April 2009
An experimental vaccine designed to mute the autoimmune response to gluten in patients with celiac disease is being tested in Australia, starting this month.

Researchers Study Links Between Schizophrenia and Gluten
April 2009
Nearly a third of people with schizophrenia have high levels of wheat gluten antibodies in their blood, leading scientists to wonder whether gluten somehow acts as an environmental trigger in people who have a genetic predisposition to schizophrenia.

PEP Enzyme a Possible Treatment for Celiac Disease
April 2009
Dr. Frits Koning, at Leiden University Medical Center in The Netherlands, has been researching an enzyme called prolyl endoprotease (PEP), which may turn out to be a treatment for celiac disease. PEP can work in the stomach to break large gluten molecules into harmless fragments.

Research “Supports the Recommendation for a Daily Multivitamin” for People with Celiac Disease
June 2009
At Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, researchers studied 109 men and women with celiac disease to see whether the food they were eating was providing the Daily Recommended Intakes for various nutrients. When the celiac patients recorded everything they ate over a three-day period, it turned out that many were not getting enough nutrients in their food.

When Celiac Disease is Diagnosed in Adulthood, Intestines Don't Always Heal Completely
June 2009
We generally hear that once a person with celiac disease stops eating gluten, the intestine gradually heals. Researchers at the Mayo Clinic have found, however, that people with celiac disease who start the gluten-free diet as adults don’t always have complete healing of the lining of their small intestine, even after they’ve been gluten-free for a long time.

Increased Prevalence and Risk of Death in Undiagnosed Celiac Disease
July 2009
The prevalence of celiac disease has been rising – it’s 4 times more common now than in the 1950’s – and researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota suspect the rise is due to an environmental factor, such as “a change in quantity, quality, or processing of cereal.”

Celiac Disease Prevalence Rising in Elderly, Too
July 2009
Researchers in Finland have discovered that there’s also an increasing prevalence of celiac disease in elderly patients. They caution that a single negative blood test result does not mean celiac disease will never develop – “the disease may also appear later in life.”

Mortality Risks with Celiac Disease and "Latent Celiac Disease"
September 2009
This article by Swedish researchers makes it clear that full-blown celiac disease is not the only form of the disorder to have serious consequences. These researchers say that people with positive celiac antibody blood tests but normal-looking biopsy results -- who are sometimes given a diagnosis of "gluten sensitivity" -- actually have a latent form of celiac disease.

Treating Celiac Disease with Hookworms
October 2009
At Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane, 10 volunteers with celiac disease were infected with live human hookworms. Then, every day for the next 21 weeks, the volunteers ate a few slices of white bread. Another 10 patients with celiac disease, who were not treated with the hookworms, also ate white bread every day, for purposes of comparison. And in fact, the patients with the parasites had less inflammation and less damage in their intestines.

Next: Celiac Disease Research Advances in 2010

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