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What causes coeliac disease symptoms and how to prevent them?

New research project: What causes coeliac disease symptoms and how to prevent them?

The Australian Government has allocated $239 million to innovative Australian research projects to help advance our understanding of a wide range of health and medical issues faced by Australians, including a project with a focus on coeliac disease.

Funded through the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Ideas Grant scheme, the research undertaken will deliver important discoveries to improve the health of Australians.

Dr Melinda Hardy at the Walter Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI) has received funding for a research project to better understand what leads to the symptoms of gluten sensitivity and coeliac disease with the goal to improve treatments and patient health outcomes.

“Consuming gluten can cause unpleasant and sometimes debilitating symptoms in people with coeliac disease and gluten sensitivity, often akin to a bout of food poisoning. However, why this happens is unknown,” said Dr Hardy.

This study will examine what happens inside of the bodies of people with coeliac disease and gluten sensitivity after gluten exposure to understand the mechanism. This will help to design new approaches to treat and even prevent bad symptoms caused by gluten. With coeliac disease affecting 1 in 70 Australians, this research could uncover some crucial insights.

“It’s a difficult environment to get funding for research, especially one focussed on coeliac disease, but this government funding tells us the NHMRC are taking coeliac disease seriously and recognise the importance of this problem and this study for patients. We are looking forward to getting started!” Dr Hardy said.

Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, said Australia continues to take a lead role in improving the lives of patients around the world through health and medical research.

“These projects demonstrate the outstanding innovation of the health and medical research sector in Australia and offer great promise for future advances in our understanding and management of health challenges,” Minister Hunt said.

In 2021, Coeliac Australia announced the largest ever investment of over $650,000 in vital coeliac disease research over the next two years. Click here to read about our research projects, all led by Australia’s leading coeliac disease researchers.

Coeliac Australia is not government funded and donations help us fund world leading research. Please help us continue funding vital coeliac disease research and consider making a tax deductible donation here.

9 August 2023