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Baylor Scott & White researchers link allergy and achalasia

Achalasia is a serious motility disorder of the esophagus that impacts more than 5,000 people in the US each year. Patients with achalasia experience damage to muscle and nerve cells in the esophagus, resulting in a loss of the peristaltic activity that normally pushes food through the esophagus into the stomach, and failure of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) to relax with swallowing, which further blocks the transit of food. Thus, achalasia patients experience severe swallowing difficulty that adversely impacts their quality of life. Because the etiology of achalasia is not known, current therapies do not cure the disease and only address its symptoms. Exciting new research from Baylor Scott & White Research Institute (BSWRI) shows that LES muscle in achalasia exhibits profound mast cell degranulation, a hallmark of allergy-induced inflammation. This work adds support to the novel hypothesis developed by BSWRI researchers that achalasia might be an allergic disorder.  

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The transplant specialists on the medical staff at Baylor Scott & White Annette C. and Harold C. Simmons Transplant Institute at Baylor University Medical Center and Baylor Scott & White All Saints Medical Center deliver quality advanced care for patients with end stage liver disease, end stage renal disease, liver and pancreas disease, chronic pancreatitis and absolute uterine factor infertility. Our goal is to deliver the best organ transplant experience to all patients. Our multidisciplinary environment allows us to access and utilize innovative technology and research for our patients with complex cases of liver and pancreas cancer. Our expert medical and surgical team works with empathy, sensitivity and compassion to restore meaningful life to as many patients as possible.

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Giuliano Testa, MD, MBA, FACS
Chairman and Chief of Abdominal Transplantation,
Baylor Scott & White Annette C. and Harold C. Simmons Transplant Institute

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