Narcolepsy gene in a celiac patient.

As many of you know, autoimmune diseases are generally complex diseases, where people on a certain genetic background (i.e. those whore are “predisposed”) come into contact with environmental triggers and eventually develop autoimmune disease.

Particularly important for autoimmune diseases, the genetic predisposition seems to lie within a region of our genes called Human Leukocyte Antigen or HLA for short. Narcolepsy has one of the highest genetic (HLA) associations, with more than 90% of individuals with narcolepsy possessing the MHC clas II gene HLA DQB1*0602.  

Celiac disease is also shown to be associated with certain HLA genes, in particular with MHC class II HLA-DQ2.  In this recent study, a patient with confirmed celiac disease was demonstrated to have the narcolepsy gene DQB1*0602.

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