Why do we still need medical research into coeliac disease?
Like many sectors, coronavirus has hit medical research hard, with charities including Coeliac UK, who belong to the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) collectively facing a £310 million hole in funding.
You might wonder why funding research into coeliac disease is so important, when we already have tests for diagnosis, and it can be treated by a gluten free diet.
But a gluten free diet won’t solve the problems of everyone diagnosed with coeliac disease or a gluten related condition. For some, their lives are irrevocably changed by the form that the disease takes such is the case for gluten ataxia, or for others there may be lifelong debilitating complications from delayed diagnosis such as osteoporosis, and in rare cases small bowel cancer.
Gill explains how gluten ataxia has affected her life in a short video made for our Research Fund in 2018:
Coeliac UK are working to improve the diagnosis of the condition through funded research projects, including the development of a less invasive and more comprehensive test for diagnosis of coeliac disease.
Funding research into coeliac disease is already disproportionately small and does not reflect the impact it has on hundreds of thousands of lives. With more people being diagnosed each year, it’s critical that medical research can continue.
Without support from the Government, life changing research into coeliac disease could be set back decades.
To date, the Government has not pledged any money to support the future of charity funded medical research. That’s why we’re calling on our gluten free community to support the AMRC’s campaign, asking the Government to set up a Life Sciences Charity Partnership Fund.
This is a co investment scheme, with the Government providing a level of match funding for future charity research over the next three years.
Your support will enable crucial research into the diagnosis, management and better understanding of coeliac disease to continue now and after the pandemic, and secure a better, brighter future for everyone whose lives are affected by gluten.
How you can help
You can support AMRC’s appeal by sending a pre-drafted letter to No.10, urging the Government to provide vital funding now to protect medical research and patients.
Time is of the essence. By investing in charity funded research, Government can help medical research charities like Coeliac UK - creating a better future for everyone who needs to live gluten free.