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New pan-European collaboration launched into the diagnosis and control of coeliac disease
Date:4/9/2008

12 million, equivalent to nearly 9.5 million has been invested by the European Commission into a new pan-European partnership which will design an advanced diagnostic tool for the detection and control of coeliac disease, the most under-diagnosed common chronic condition in the UK today.

The collaborative project, entitled Coeliac Disease Management Monitoring Diagnosis using Biosensors and Integrated Chip Systems (CD-MEDICS), will unite technologies to allow point of care diagnostics, combined with embedded communication technologies to directly interface with hospital information systems. It is expected that the development of the technologies involved and their combination in a single product represent a significant advance in diagnostic technology that has the potential to be applied to the detection of a range of other conditions such, insulin dependent diabetes mellitus or rheumatoid arthritis.

At least 1 in 1001 people in the UK is estimated to suffer from coeliac disease a potentially life-threatening auto-immune condition caused by intolerance to gluten. However, according to a recent study2, only 12.5% of people with the disease are actually being correctly diagnosed. Recent research showed that the average length of time taken for someone to be diagnosed with coeliac disease from the onset of their symptoms is 13 years.

Coeliac disease is not a food allergy but a life-long autoimmune disease caused by intolerance to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. For people with coeliac disease, eating gluten damages the lining of the gut, which prevents normal digestion and the absorption of food. There are serious health problems associated with coeliac disease including osteoporosis, gastro-intestinal cancer and increased risk of other autoimmune diseases. The only treatment is a strict gluten-free diet for life. The new diagnostic tool aims to help with early detection and to monitor
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Contact: Kate Newman
kate.newman@coeliac.org.uk
020-839-97478
Coeliac UK
Source:Eurekalert

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