RNA link could point to a better IBS therapy

Scientists at Ohio State say they have identified a segment of RNA that could play a key role in treating irritable bowel syndrome. The stretch of RNA orchestrates a signal which inhibits a gene that produces glutamine. And a lack of glutamine has been linked with the leakage of toxins and bacteria into the gut, triggering the painful symptoms of IBS.

"We treat the disorder, but we still don't understand it completely," says study senior co-author G. Nicholas Verne. "We often have to use multiple therapies to attack the symptoms, but the pain is by far the most difficult to treat. For some patients, the pain responds only to escalating doses of narcotics or tricyclic antidepressants," said scientists at Ohio State University study, who studied human tissue samples.  

About a third of patients have a diarrhea-predominant form of the disease, and their tissue samples reflected a low level of glutamine. Their work indicates that an RNA-silencing treatment that quells that segment of RNA could be effective in preventing the ailment.  

- here's the release