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 Millions through license revenues
27.04.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht New High-Performance Center Translational Medical Engineering
26.04.2017 | Fraunhofer ITEM

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: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Bare bones: Making bones transparent

27.04.2017 | Life Sciences

Study offers new theoretical approach to describing non-equilibrium phase transitions

27.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

From volcano's slope, NASA instrument looks sky high and to the future

27.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>