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Deakin University researchers, as well as members of the local Geelong community, have played a key role in developing a novel approach for detecting coeliac disease.
More than 2500 men and women enrolled in the Geelong Osteoporosis Study provided blood samples for traditional antibody testing and identification of specific genetic risk markers.
‘The randomly-selected participants in the Geelong Osteoporosis Study are ideal for this project because they represent the broader population and were not selected on the basis of disease’, said lead investigator and epidemiologist, Professor Julie Pasco from Deakin University’s School of Medicine.
Coeliac disease is a digestive condition caused by eating gluten in foods made from wheat, barley, rye and oats and can be found in people of any age.
The Geelong-based research team involved endocrinologist Associate Professor Mark Kotowicz and gastroenterologist Dr Ross Knight. Other key players included Dr Jason Tye-Din from the Immunology division of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, Dr Bob Anderson, chief scientific officer at US biotechnology company ImmusanT and researchers from The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute.
Dr Tye-Din said the new approach of combining the genetic test with a panel of antibody tests would increase the accuracy of testing, decrease overall medical costs by reducing invasive diagnostic tests, and avoid medically unnecessary use of a gluten-free diet.
‘Currently, bowel biopsies are recommended for anybody with positive antibody tests’, he said.
‘In this study the inclusion of a genetic test helped identify a substantial number of people whose antibody tests were falsely positive and who did not actually require a bowel biopsy to test for the possibility of coeliac disease.’
The new testing strategy reveals that coeliac disease is more common in Australia than previously thought, affecting at least one in 60 women and one in 80 men.
The research was funded by INOVA Diagnostics Inc, Nexpep Pty. Ltd, the NHMRC, the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation, the Geelong Region Medical Research Foundation, and the Victorian government.
Participants are needed for a clinical trial studying the effects of two interventions on depression levels. The researchers are comparing the effect of two interventions that may help to improve the symptoms of depression: a social support program and an educational and counseling program focusing on lifestyle.
Click on the link below for more information, or contact:
Telephone (03) 4215 3325
Do you have bipolar disorder and are looking for something
more than your usual treatment?
This exciting new study needs participants. The research will investigate the benefits of adding a combination of vitamins and other natural compounds to your
usual treatment for bipolar depression.
For more information, click on the link below or contact:
Dr Yuval Samuni
Telephone (03) 4215 3309
An exciting new study will investigate the health and lifestyle factors associated with bipolar disorder and its related illnesses.
If you are age 20 or above, a resident of Geelong and have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, you are encouraged to participate in this study.
The study will recruit participants over a two-year period. Participants will be required to attend an appointment of around two hours and answer questions about health, lifestyle and mental wellbeing. In addition, researchers will take clinical measurements of study participants, along with a fasting blood sample and a bone mineral density scan. All testing will be conducted free of charge with no costs incurred by participants.
This study is being conducted by Deakin University and Barwon Health.
Ms Amanda Stuart:
03) 4215 3308
Professor Michael Berk:
03) 4215 3320