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Approved Research

Dietary patterns and molecular mechanisms associated with the pathogenicity of appendicitis in humans

Principal Investigator: Mr Michael Ryoo
Approved Research ID: 87697
Approval date: July 21st 2022

Lay summary

Appendicitis is the reddening and swelling of the appendix, a cylindrical tube of the large intestine, usually during the first sixty years of life in humans. Currently, the specific origins and processes that gives rise to this lower gut disorder remains poorly understood. However, an increased consumption of westernized diets, characterised by processed foods and beverages, have been linked to a greater prevalence of several other lower gut diseases on a global scale since the 20th century. In addition, there are also single point genetic changes (mutations) that have been identified in controlling the onset of inflammation in the appendix that involves the reddening and swelling.

Therefore, a key aim of this project is to characterise genetic mutations associated with appendicitis, via an investigation of the entire genetic sequence, referred to as the genome. Another chief aim is to identify additional links between appendicitis with dietary patterns, age, biological sex, body mass index, ethnicity, nationality, smoking status and socio-economic background. Subsequently, this can give us a clearer idea of the relationship between appendicitis and genes along with diet and socio-cultural factors.

Currently, this project is estimated to run for over a 12-month period. The results from this study will improve our understanding of acute appendicitis and will focus on the crucial role of dietary patterns and genetic mutations. At the conclusion of this study, we intend to have identified the processes involved in the reddening and swelling of the appendix along with the genetic characteristics that raise the risk of being diagnosed with appendicitis. This will ultimately enable the formulation of dietary recommendations for individuals that have a higher chance of developing appendicitis in their lifetime.