Inflammatory disorders

Research highlights possible targets to help tackle Crohn's disease

Affecting around 115,000 people in the UK alone, Crohn's Disease is a lifelong condition which sees parts of the digestive system become inflamed. There is no precise cure and causes are believed to vary. But one indicator ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Study reveals a microbe's molecular role in Crohn's disease

Changes in the gut microbiome have long been linked with Crohn's disease and other forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), but the biology behind those links has remained murky. Researchers at the Broad Institute, Massachusetts ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Adult-onset IBD linked to higher mortality

While the onset of inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease) in adulthood is tied to a higher mortality, the actual number of deaths has been falling, a Swedish study from Karolinska Institutet published ...

Health

Could you be short on vitamin B12?

(HealthDay)—In the ABCs of vitamins, B12 is often overlooked. But it's essential for the making of nerve and red blood cells, as well as DNA along with many other body processes. Adults and teens need just 2.4 micrograms ...

Immunology

Patients' own cells could be the key to treating Crohn's disease

A new technique using patients' own modified cells to treat Crohn's disease has been proven to be effective in experiments using human cells, with a clinical trial of the treatment expected to start in the next six months.

Immunology

Cells that destroy the intestine

Patients affected by the chronic inflammatory bowel diseases morbus Crohn and ulcerative colitis often suffer from flare-ups, which damage intestinal tissue. Despite advances in treating these diseases with medication, associated ...

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Crohn's disease

Crohn's disease (also known as granulomatous colitis and regional enteritis) is an inflammatory disease of the intestines that may affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract from anus to mouth, causing a wide variety of symptoms. It primarily causes abdominal pain, diarrhea (which may be bloody), vomiting, or weight loss, but may also cause complications outside of the gastrointestinal tract such as skin rashes, arthritis and inflammation of the eye.

Crohn's disease is an autoimmune disease, in which the body's immune system attacks the gastrointestinal tract, causing inflammation; it is classified as a type of inflammatory bowel disease. There has been evidence of a genetic link to Crohn's disease, putting individuals with siblings afflicted with the disease at higher risk. It is understood to have a large environmental component as evidenced by the higher number of cases in western industrialized nations. Males and females are equally affected. Smokers are three times more likely to develop Crohn's disease. Crohn's disease affects between 400,000 and 600,000 people in North America. Prevalence estimates for Northern Europe have ranged from 27–48 per 100,000. Crohn's disease tends to present initially in the teens and twenties, with another peak incidence in the fifties to seventies, although the disease can occur at any age.

There is no known pharmaceutical or surgical cure for Crohn's disease. Treatment options are restricted to controlling symptoms, maintaining remission and preventing relapse.

The disease was independently described in 1904 by Polish surgeon Antoni Leśniowski and in 1932 by American gastroenterologist Burrill Bernard Crohn, for whom the disease was named. Crohn, along with two colleagues, described a series of patients with inflammation of the terminal ileum, the area most commonly affected by the illness. For this reason, the disease has also been called regional ileitis or regional enteritis.

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