As originally reported by EurekAlert, eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorder research will receive a boost with the renewal of a $7.57 million grant administered over five years awarded to the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. They are tasked with leading the countries consortium of organizations that conduct relevant research. The grant awarded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is also intended to train the researchers about how to conduct the relevant trials, pilot research projects, create easier methods to access relevant information on eosinophilic disorders to researchers and patients, and to develop further expertise.
What are Eosinophilic disorders?
Eosinophilic disorders are inflammatory diseases which cause too many white blood cells to gather in the gastrointestinal tract causing eosinophilia, invoking gastrointestinal related complaints. It is thought to be the result of an allergic reaction to food and is chronic. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, tissue scaring, pain, and stunted growth. There are different types of the disease depending on where the inflammation is whether it be the stomach, esophagus, intestines, or colon. The new grant will focus on each of these four types of conditions, whereas the previous did not research intestinal related versions. The diseases are painful and chronic, causing difficulty eating some or all foods.
The NIH Grant
The organizers of the grant hope the research collaboration between researchers, patients, and advocacy groups will advance the knowledge in the field. There will be clinical researchers from across the country participating that have their own relevant specialities, ranging from immunology to gastroenterology, allergy, or pathology work. The idea is to study it from the many different sides and integrate information from children and adults into one functioning set of data. Dr Glenn Furuta, the director of the Gastrointestinal Eosinophilic Diseases Program at Children’s Hospital Colorado and a professor of pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine explains, “Collaborative research is critical for progress in understanding and treating these rare diseases,” says Dr. Furuta. “Much has been accomplished with the support of patients and patient advocacy groups, our professional networks, and clinicians and researchers from around the globe.”
With collaboration between the many actors of the disease, the NIH grant will paint a clearer more holistic picture of what the disease is and what can be done to help patients.
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