Money Matters - Simplified

Record donation for celiac disease work

Baltimore -- A record $45 million donation for research into celiac disease has been received by the University of Maryland, school officials say.

Researchers at the university's Center for Celiac Research said the donation for work on the autoimmune disease came from the family of a grateful patient from India, the Baltimore Sun reported Thursday.

The donation is the largest single gift ever received by the UM system, the newspaper said.

Center Director Dr. Alessio Fasano said the donation would be used to create an institute eventually employing up to 200 doctors and researchers.

"Finding enough money is always a problem," Fasano said. "What we really need for a major breakthrough is thinking out of the box, and this will allow us to do just that."

Celiac disease is caused by a reaction to gluten, a protein in wheat, rye and barley found in much of the human diet that causes the body's immune system to attack and damage the small intestine, leading to improper absorption of food.

Symptoms can include cramping, gas, bloating, diarrhea and weight loss.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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