January 28, 2011
Celiac and Crohn’s: Similar Diseases?
(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- A recent study has shown that celiac disease and Crohn's disease, both inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, share at least four genetic risk loci.
Researchers from the University of Groningen, The Netherlands; the Broad Institute, USA; and the Universit© de Montr©al and Montreal Heart Institute in Canada collectively performed a pooled meta-analysis of genome-wide data for celiac disease and Crohn's disease. This meta-analysis has furthermore identified two new shared risk loci and two shared risk loci that had once been autonomously identified for each disease.
As it has earlier been revealed that celiac patients are at an elevated risk of developing Crohn's disease than non-sufferers, it had been thought that the two illnesses would share genetic risk loci. This study ultimately combined the results from the genetic investigations into both diseases to illustrate that part of the genetic background of Crohn's disease and celiac disease is shared, which confirms a universal pathogenesis for these disorders.
Although further studies are needed to identify the mechanisms by which these variants influence both Crohn's disease and celiac, the present study provides evidence of principle that risk factors shared across related diseases can be identified by exactly combining genetic data from clinically distinct diseases.
SOURCE: PLoS (Public Library of Science), 27 January 2011