Crohn's Disease: The Year in Review
Like many chronic conditions, Crohn’s disease can have a huge impact on the day to day lives of patients suffering from this disease. On top of that, treatment is still developing in part because researchers still don’t know much about the origins of the disease.
While researchers didn’t find the cause or a cure for Crohn’s disease in 2017, there were some important developments in the science community as well as in the fight to make living with Crohn’s easier and more accessible for patients everywhere.
One of the non-profit organizations that does perhaps the most work to improve the lives of individuals living with Crohn’s disease is the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation. This year, the Foundation had no shortage of initiatives working towards positive change, including a lineup of events designed to raise awareness and support. The Take Steps Gold Coast Walk, for example, was held in Port Washington, New York just outside of New York City in October of this year. The even included sponsorship from some major corporations like Signature Bank and McDonald’s. Later, in November, the Foundation also hosted A Toast to Tomorrow in Long Island. The event featured fare from some of Long Island’s best restaurants as well as an auction of luxury clothing, accessories, and jewelry and specialty wines. These events are just some that were sponsored by the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation and used to raise awareness of and financial support for continued research into the condition.
While these local events certainly played a role in working to end the fight against Crohn’s disease, perhaps the biggest initiative was the Foundation’s annual Take Steps event. Take Steps is a series of walks that are held on a local level but coordinated nationally by the foundation. While the walks were held in different days, the coordinated effort was still a signification national event raising money and awareness for the fight against Crohn’s across America.
2017’s research initiatives
Perhaps one of the most frustrating things about Crohn’s disease is how little we know about it. On the surface, it might be easy to assume that Crohn’s is due to poor diet or something of that nature, but countless studies have shown that this is not the case. Unfortunately, researchers don’t actually know what is the cause of Crohn’s disease. While it’s still a mystery, some new research in 2017 is narrowing in a bit more on the cause. A study from the lab of biologist Dr. Mark Sundrud at the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) indicates that there may be a link between Crohn’s and a dysfunctional gene. Sundrud and his team are hypothesizing that TH17 cells which are normally responsible for the immune system may cause chronic inflammation and could be a cause or at least a contributing factor to Crohn’s disease.
Read on to learn more about the most recent Crohn's disease treatment and research advancements.