Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Friendly Bacteria Offers Hope For Ulcerative Colitis Patients

17.08.2004


A type of ‘friendly bacteria’ has been the key for researchers at the University of Dundee who have just developed a treatment that offers the opportunity of new therapies for the management of one of the UK’s most common forms of inflammatory bowel disease - ulcerative colitis. Results from a four-week patient trial led by Professor George Macfarlane showed that many of the patients’ symptoms were dramatically reduced to near normal levels.



Affecting an estimated fifty thousand people in the UK, with a particularly high incidence rate in north east Scotland, ulcerative colitis is an acute and chronic disease that causes inflammation and sores, called ulcers, in the lining of the large bowel.

After studying the bowel wall of colitis patients and healthy volunteers, the team made an important discovery. The levels of a specific type of friendly bacteria were 30 times less in colitis patients than in healthy people. As well as stimulating the immune system and offering anti-cancer properties, many of these organisms have anti-inflammatory effects, and after noting that the particular types of this bacteria were also different in colitis patients, the researchers set about developing substitute organisms that could help colitis patients.


As a result, Professor Macfarlane and his team developed a probiotic, which together with a carbohydrate source forms a ‘synbiotic’ and was given to the colitis patients as a substitute for the anti-inflammatory effects that the naturally occurring ‘friendly bacteria’ offer to healthy people. In a four-week trial with active ulcerative colitis patients, the researchers monitored the effect of the synbiotic.

Ulcerative colitis patients commonly experience abdominal pain and diarrhoea but fatigue, weight loss, rectal bleeding, loss of appetite and loss of body fluids and nutrients can affect some patients. The trial results were dramatic showing that the synbiotic had a highly significant effect on inflammatory molecules in the bowel wall, largely reducing the pain and discomfort commonly experienced by ulcerative colitis patients. Molecular and clinical tests showed that many symptoms associated with colitis were reduced to near normal levels, and unlike many other treatments, there are no side effects.

Professor George Macfarlane said, “This is an important development in the search for an effective treatment for ulcerative colitis. The trial results show that participants receiving the synbiotic stopped experiencing pain, diarrhoea and other symptoms commonly associated with the disease. This meant that they could go about their daily lives without worrying about the symptoms that makes living with the disease a struggle.”

The work is ongoing and the research team is also investigating the effects that both diet and age have on the gut. A multidisciplinary team of ten have worked on the project that has seen laboratory based observations translated to the clinical environment - the patients. The project was funded by the Medical Research Council.

Angela Durcan | alfa
Further information:
http://www.dundee.ac.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht 3D images of cancer cells in the body: Medical physicists from Halle present new method
16.05.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

nachricht Better equipped in the fight against lung cancer
16.05.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

Im Focus: Computer-Designed Customized Regenerative Heart Valves

Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.

Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...

Im Focus: Light-induced superconductivity under high pressure

A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.

Unlike ordinary metals, superconductors have the unique capability of transporting electrical currents without any loss. Nowadays, their technological...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Supersonic waves may help electronics beat the heat

18.05.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Keeping a Close Eye on Ice Loss

18.05.2018 | Information Technology

CrowdWater: An App for Flood Research

18.05.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>