For the first time, scientists from 19 European countries have joined forces to form an interdisciplinary network for investigating the causes of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), in the hope to improve its diagnosis and treatment.
The European Science Foundation funded network GENIEUR (Genes in Irritable Bowel Syndrome Europe) aims to identify genes and DNA variants that may contribute to increase one’s susceptibility to develop bowel symptoms.
Today, IBS affects more than 10 percent of the general population in Sweden, and is the most common cause of work absenteeism after common colds. Its diagnosis is based on a combination of symptoms including abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea, which all strongly impact patients’ quality of life. Because of the unknown etiology there is currently no cure, and remedies can only alleviate symptoms and are effective in some patients but not in others.
Over 70 research groups participate in the GENIEUR network, which is headed by Dr Beate Niesler at Heidelberg University Hospital’s Institute of Human Genetics, and includes research teams from the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg and Karolinska Institutet.
“Our goal is to use the knowledge of researchers with different expertise in order to solve the mystery of IBS”, says Professor Magnus Simren, from the Department of Internal Medicine and Clinical Nutrition at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, who is also co-Chair of the GENIEUR initiative and head of a research group focusing on mechanisms underlying the symptoms of IBS.
“IBS is only modestly inherited, and there are so far very few examples of known predisposing genes” adds docent Mauro D’Amato from Karolinska Institutet’s Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, member of the GENIEUR management committee and leader of the team who discovered the involvement of TNFSF15 and NPSR1 genes in IBS. “We need very large numbers of thoroughly-characterized patients in order to increase our chances to detect true genetic predisposing factors”.
For this purpose, the teams in GENIEUR aim to establish a large IBS biobank of clinical material from patients and healthy controls.
In so doing, they are also aiming to identify reliable biomarkers and compile a catalogue of criteria to precisely assign patients to individual clinical subgroups.
Besides gastroenterologists and human geneticists, the network also includes nutritionists, psychiatrists, immunologists, physiologists, neurobiologists, microbiologists, bioinformatic specialists and epidemiologists.
“With this broad knowledge included, the potential to achieve clinically important discoveries for this large group of patients is tremendous” says Prof Simren.
More information is available at www.genieur.eu.For further information, please contact:
Docent Mauro D’Amato, Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Karolinska Institutet, email@example.com
Annika Koldenius | idw
Using DNA origami to build nanodevices of the future
31.08.2015 | Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences at Kyoto University
An ounce of prevention: Research advances on 'scourge' of transplant wards
28.08.2015 | University of Wisconsin-Madison
Longer, more severe, and hotter droughts and a myriad of other threats, including diseases and more extensive and severe wildfires, are threatening to transform some of the world's temperate forests, a new study published in Science has found. Without informed management, some forests could convert to shrublands or grasslands within the coming decades.
"While we have been trying to manage for resilience of 20th century conditions, we realize now that we must prepare for transformations and attempt to ease...
A University of Oklahoma astrophysicist and his Chinese collaborator have found two supermassive black holes in Markarian 231, the nearest quasar to Earth, using observations from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.
The discovery of two supermassive black holes--one larger one and a second, smaller one--are evidence of a binary black hole and suggests that supermassive...
A team of European researchers have developed a model to simulate the impact of tsunamis generated by earthquakes and applied it to the Eastern Mediterranean. The results show how tsunami waves could hit and inundate coastal areas in southern Italy and Greece. The study is published today (27 August) in Ocean Science, an open access journal of the European Geosciences Union (EGU).
Though not as frequent as in the Pacific and Indian oceans, tsunamis also occur in the Mediterranean, mainly due to earthquakes generated when the African...
In mountainous regions earthquakes often cause strong landslides, which can be exacerbated by heavy rain. However, after an initial increase, the frequency of these mass wasting events, often enormous and dangerous, declines, in fact independently of meteorological events and aftershocks.
These new findings are presented by a German-Franco-Japanese team of geoscientists in the current issue of the journal Geology, under the lead of the GFZ...
Bacteria do not cease to amaze us with their survival strategies. A research team from the University of Basel's Biozentrum has now discovered how bacteria enter a sleep mode using a so-called FIC toxin. In the current issue of “Cell Reports”, the scientists describe the mechanism of action and also explain why their discovery provides new insights into the evolution of pathogens.
For many poisons there are antidotes which neutralize their toxic effect. Toxin-antitoxin systems in bacteria work in a similar manner: As long as a cell...
20.08.2015 | Event News
20.08.2015 | Event News
19.08.2015 | Event News
31.08.2015 | Awards Funding
31.08.2015 | Materials Sciences
31.08.2015 | Materials Sciences