A new genetic risk factor for celiac disease has been found, and the researchers believe it could lead to improved diagnostics and treatment.

People with celiac disease (coeliac disease) do not have a protective DNA sequence in a particular gene region – people without celiac disease do have this. The researchers say that this DNA sequence leads to the production of proteins which control inflammation – without this sequence, there would be fewer anti-inflammatory proteins.

This study was headed by David van Heel, Professor of Gastrointestinal Genetics at Queen Mary, University of London, and was funded by Coeliac UK and the Wellcome Trust.

This is a great finding – but it will take a long time for this to filter through to improved diagnostics and treatment, as it always does. Still … bring it on! It would be great to know who else in a family group has the genetic deficiency, and even better if there were treatment available.

Watch this space.