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Researchers discover mesentery as a new organ
The anatomy of the human body is considered to be relatively well researched today. It is therefore all the more surprising that scientists at the University of Limerick in Ireland discovered a new organ. The research team led by Professor Calvin Coffey found evidence in his investigations that the so-called mesentery, which connects the intestines with the abdominal wall in the abdominal cavity, is to be regarded as an independent organ.
So far, the mesentery has been considered a fragmented structure made up of several individual parts that connects certain sections of the intestine to the abdominal wall and is of little importance. However, based on their many years of research, the Irish scientists come to the conclusion that it is actually an organ that has so far only not been recognized as such. The researchers published their evidence in the journal "The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology".
Mesentery a continuous organ
“During the initial research, we mainly noticed that the mesentery is a continuous organ. Until then, it was considered to be a fragmented structure, ”reports Prof. Coffey. A revolutionary discovery. This is because the anatomical description, which was valid for over 100 years, has proven to be wrong, according to Coffey in a press release from the University of Limerick. The scientists have already set up a special teaching area for the mesentery - "mesenteriology". In the future, this should specifically research the functions, diseases and special features of the mesentery.
Influence on various disease processes
According to Professor Coffey, the ongoing investigations “make it increasingly clear that the mesentery plays a crucial role in controlling the metabolic, immunological and endocrine functions.” The organ would also influence disease processes such as diabetes mellitus, ischemic heart disease and peripheral vascular disease. The new view of the mesentery could lead to significant improvements in the treatment of numerous diseases.
Improved therapy options
Based on the knowledge gained, new treatment approaches for diseases such as colon cancer or inflammatory bowel diseases including ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease and diverticulosis, the scientists explain. New mechanisms of cancer development and progression have also been demonstrated. “We can now offer better personalized operations for the precise phase of a patient's illness,” the researchers emphasize.
Inclusion in the curriculum
According to the researchers, better understanding of the mesentery opens up new options for minimally invasive surgery. For the patients, this means that they recover faster and return to a normal quality of life, which leads to savings in health care and socio-economic costs, the researchers explain. As of this year, medical students around the world will be declared the mesentery as a continuous organ and Professor Coffey's research has also found its way into one of the world's best-known medical textbooks - "Gray’s Anatomy" - the university said. (fp)