Celiac Disease Treatment that Sounds Horrific

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We found this article about this celiac disease treatment on the IFLScience! website.

This treatment involves worms that help reduce inflammation. It is based on Th1 white type cells responsible of autoimmune reactions, as you will read in the article.

This Australian trial allowed celiacs to eat lots of gluten, without the nasty effects.

It is a very weird way to treat the disease but it worked.

Also the worms involved in the study are totally harmless for humans.

Read the article below about this new experimental celiac disease treatment,

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“That might sound disgusting and downright weird, but there is method behind the madness, and it seems to be working. A small Australian trial published earlier this year, for example, resulted in celiacs being able to eat as much gluten as found in a bowl of spaghetti. Because of the success, the trial has now been granted a big chunk of cash to extend it to a larger group of people, this time involving 40 participants.

The key to the worms’ success in the treatment of this disease is in the inflammation. Autoimmune diseases typically involve a type of white blood cell called Th1, or T helper type 1, which drive pro-inflammatory responses; if uncontrolled, these reactions can lead to severe tissue damage. The other type of T helper cell, Th2, actually generates anti-inflammatory responses, and is associated with parasitic worm, or helminth, infections.

Putting this to the test, researchers from James Cook University alongside doctors at The Prince Charles Hospital in Brisbane enrolled 12 celiacs and infected them with 20 hookworm larvae, administered under a bandaid. Apparently, it felt like having hot sauce on your skin. Hookworms don’t actually reproduce inside humans, so there was no risk of the infection getting out of control, and they die in a few years.

Participants were then given gluten in slowly increasing doses, starting off with the equivalent of a 2 centimeter (0.8 inch) piece of spaghetti, ending up with roughly the same amount as would be found in a medium-sized spaghetti portion. This time around, the 40 new volunteers will be challenged with much higher amounts of gluten.

It’s also worth pointing out that scientists still aren’t sure what precisely is driving this effect, but the researchers would like to examine worm components more closely in the hope of finding out more. If it turns out to be a specific molecule or group of molecules, perhaps it would be possible to use these as a form of treatment, rather than having to actually infect patients. ”





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