Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Crohn's disease may be caused by immune signaling failure

People with Crohn's disease are typically treated with powerful anti-inflammatory medications that act throughout their body, not just in their digestive tract, creating the potential for unintended, and often serious, side ...

Genetics

Study reveals genetic and cellular mechanisms of Crohn's disease

Mount Sinai researchers have identified genetic and cellular mechanisms of Crohn's disease, providing new insights for future treatments that could offer a tailored approach to patients with the chronic inflammatory disease, ...

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 ...

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 ...

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.

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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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