GEMM Babies Continue to Shine

January 18, 2017

GEMM Babies Continue to Shine


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An update on research following children at risk for celiac disease

Mom kissing baby on cheek

By Amy Ratner, Beyond Celiac Medical and Science News Analyst

A study of babies designed to determine how celiac disease develops and ways to prevent it continues to make progress.

Researchers conducting the Celiac Disease Genomic Environmental Microbiome and Metabolic Study (CDGEMM) reported that they have enrolled 90 children in 25 states in the United States, as well as 75 children in Italy.

They’ve collected 400 stool samples, which are being used to track the development of the gut microbiome, the bacteria that live normally in the gut, by watching how microbial communities evolve over time.

“We hope to identify a distinct microbial pattern that will allow us to predict who will develop celiac disease before it happens so we know how to prevent it,” said researchers at the Center for Celiac Research at Massachusetts General Hospital, MassGeneral Hospital for Children and the Celiac Program at Harvard Medical School.

Children enrolled in the study, called GEMM babies, also have periodic blood testing for antibodies that are a sign of celiac disease. So far, researchers have conducted 155 of these celiac disease antibody blood tests.

You can read more about the study here, including information on how to enroll babies who have a parent or sibling diagnosed with celiac disease. These children have an 8 to 25 percent greater chance of developing the condition compared to the general population.

You can also sign up for the Beyond Celiac Research Opt-In here to get continuing information on this and other celiac disease research news.