GENIEUR teams aim to understand causes and treatment of irritable bowel syndrome

Published on January 29, 2013 at 1:38 AM · No Comments

Europe-wide network GENIEUR including researchers from Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, launch program for understanding the causes and improving the diagnosis and treatment of irritable bowel syndrome

For the first time, scientists from 19 European countries have joined forces to form an interdisciplinary network for investigating the causes of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), in the hope to improve its diagnosis and treatment.

The European Science Foundation funded network GENIEUR (Genes in Irritable Bowel Syndrome Europe) aims to identify genes and DNA variants that may contribute to increase one's susceptibility to develop bowel symptoms.

Today, IBS affects more than 10 percent of the general population in Sweden, and is the most common cause of work absenteeism after common colds. Its diagnosis is based on a combination of symptoms including abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea, which all strongly impact patients' quality of life. Because of the unknown etiology there is currently no cure, and remedies can only alleviate symptoms and are effective in some patients but not in others.

Over 70 research groups participate in the GENIEUR network, which is headed by Dr Beate Niesler at Heidelberg University Hospital's Institute of Human Genetics, and includes research teams from the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg and Karolinska Institutet.

"Our goal is to use the knowledge of researchers with different expertise in order to solve the mystery of IBS", says Professor Magnus Simren, from the Department of Internal Medicine and Clinical Nutrition at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, who is also co-Chair of the GENIEUR initiative and head of a research group focusing on mechanisms underlying the symptoms of IBS.

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