New Infant Study on Celiac Disease Now Enrolling!

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Help Identify, Predict and Prevent Celiac Disease

The MassGeneral Hospital for Children Center for Celiac Research and the Celiac Program at Harvard Medical School have launched a research study to understand the many factors that contribute to the development of celiac disease.

The CDGEMM (Celiac Disease Genomic Environmental Microbiome and Metabolomic) Study  is aimed at understanding the role that our genes, gut microbiome and environmental factors play in the development of celiac disease.

Researchers, led by Dr. Alessio Fasano, are hoping the study will help create a model to identify a pattern of gut bacteria (microbial signatures) and environmental factors that could help predict who will develop celiac disease before it happens. Once able to predict celiac disease development, their goal is to prevent it by producing treatments based off of this work.

Could your infant take part?

Researchers have enrolled 127 babies and are looking for a total of 500 infants to participate. Infants up to 6 months of age who have a first-degree relative (parent or sibling) with celiac disease are eligible for the study. If you are currently pregnant and your soon-to-be infant will fit these criteria, you can even begin the enrollment process before birth. They study is recruiting from all over the U.S., as well as at centers in Italy, and follows children from the time of enrollment until they turn 5 years old.

Here is what study participants can expect:

  • Collection of blood and stool samples from your child throughout the study. Each time blood is drawn it will be tested for the antibodies used to diagnose celiac disease. Thus, by taking part in the study, each child will be monitored closely for celiac disease, which allows for early detection and treatment if necessary. In addition, genetic testing will assess whether each child has the genes compatible with celiac disease.
  • Parents will keep a diary of their infant’s antibiotic use and dietary history for the first year of life.
  • Parents will answer questions about their infant’s medical and social history approximately every six months.
  • Forms can be completed securely online.
  • Study visits can be conducted at the center where participants enroll or at the child’s pediatrician’s office.
  • Everything is free of charge.

Finally, participants have an active firsthand role in groundbreaking science and around-the-clock access to the CDGEMM study team, comprised of experts in the field of celiac disease. Participants are also welcomed into a community of like-minded families who want to help advance our knowledge of celiac disease.

Parents who are interested in enrolling their infant can email [email protected] for more information or visit the study’s website at www.cdgemm.org to see how their little ‘GEMM’ can help make celiac disease history!

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