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Breakthrough discovery on Crohn’s disease by Maynooth researchers

It’s hoped the development will lead to new ways to diagnose the condition, and eventually new drugs.

Image: Close-up of tube with clinician via Shutterstock

UPDATED: 21.54

THE DISCOVERY OF a protein ‘Pellino3′ by a researchers at NUI Maynooth is being described as a ‘breakthrough’ and it is believed the development may help protect against inflammatory bowel diseases such as the incurable ‘Crohn’s’.

The research team – led by Professor Paul Moynagh – has found that the protein controls unwanted inflammation in the intestine, therefore protecting against the development of the disease.

In what is regarded as a major advance in the understanding of bowel diseases, levels of Pellino3 were found to be dramatically reduced in Crohn’s disease patients.

The team is now building on their findings, and aims to use the protein as the basis for new ways to diagnose Crohn’s. According to Professor Moynagh:

The research represents a major advancement in our understanding of inflammatory diseases of the digestive system.

My hope is that we can build on these findings and use Pellino3 as a new diagnostic for Crohn’s disease and as a target for new drug discovery.

It is estimated that upward of two million people are suffering with the condition across Europe, while in the US around 1 in every 200 people struggle with inflammatory bowel disease.

The Maynooth study was supported by researchers from Trinity College Dublin and University College Cork, and the findings have been published in influential scientific journal Nature Immunology.

First published 11.11am

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