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How Close Are We to Finding a Cure for Crohn’s Disease?

Even though medical science has made great advancements, people with Crohn’s disease still have to live with the debilitating and painful effects. These can range from fatigue, diarrhea, and mouth sores to episodes of severe abdominal cramping and pain and rectal bleeding (in severe cases). The fact that it’s a progressive disease with no cure available as of now makes the situation even more disturbing.

Crohn’s disease

Aren’t There Any Treatments Available for Crohn’s Disease?

The available treatments for Crohn’s Disease primarily focus on reducing inflammation. While they work for many patients and help reduce the severity of symptoms, they do not offer much relief to quite a few of them.

As a result, the inflammatory bowel disease of the digestive tract often causes life-threatening complications with the spread of inflammation deep into the affected tissues.

But, Things Seem To Be Changing

Scientists know the severity of the disease and the limitations of available treatment options and have been continuously working to find a cure for Crohn’s disease. With some of the research developments that have surfaced in the past few years, it seems that scientists are finally getting close to their goal. Here are some of the drugs that have shown promising results in the trial and testing phase:

  • RHB-104

RHB-104 is a cocktail of antibiotics, containing rifabutin, clofazimine, and clarithromycin. It was developed after some research studies found a correlation between Crohn’s disease and a bacteria called Mycobacterium Avium Paratuberculosis (MAP). According to the research, the bacteria cause an infection, which may be a contributing factor in the development of Crohn’s disease.

The first clinical trial of the antibiotic concoction was completed in 2018, and it showed promising results. However, more studies are required before it can be accepted as a viable drug for Crohn’s disease.

  • Vaccine

It may sound too good to be true, but Jonathan Hermon-Taylor has been working on it for years. A molecular scientist, retired physician, and a professor of surgery at King’s College London, Taylor has developed a vaccine that could not only treat but could also potentially help prevent Crohn’s disease.[1]

Taylor’s work is also based on the finding that the MAP bacteria play a role in the development of this inflammatory bowel disease. The vaccine was found safe for healthy humans during the first round of clinical testing, performed through Oxford University. It is now under the second round of trial, during which its safety for patients with Crohn’s disease will be determined.

Even if the vaccine is deemed effective for both healthy patients and those with Crohn’s disease, it can take about 5 to 10 years before it could be made available to the public.

The Sum Up

The research for finding a cure for Crohn’s disease is still in preliminary stages, and there are certain limitations – the discovery regarding MAP bacteria’s role in Crohn’s disease isn’t universally accepted. However, they have given hope that we may find a cure for the digestive tract disease that affects millions of people around the world.

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