Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

New drug for Crohn's disease shows early promise

(HealthDay)—An experimental drug may quickly quash symptoms of the digestive disorder Crohn's disease—at least for the short term, an early clinical trial finds.

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.

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

Fecal transplants beat C. diff superbug 90% of the time

First reported in ancient China, human fecal transplants have made a comeback in modern medicine. Evidence shows this treatment can be effective in treating C. difficile—a gastrointestinal infection that can cause symptoms ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Novel mechanism for Crohn's disease uncovered

Crohn's disease is one of a family of chronic inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). While it has already been proven to have genetic causes, scientists have now shown that the presence of certain intestinal bacteria also plays ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Promising new lead in Crohn's disease

QIMR Berghofer researchers have identified a key driver of the aggressive gut disorder, Crohn's disease, a finding that could eventually lead to new treatments for the often-debilitating condition.

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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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