19 December 2008

Another Study, Another Day Closer.... Maybe.

This blog was originally published in Travis McClain's Journal - Patient on We Are Crohns on 19 December 2008.

One of the nice features of Google is being able to sign up for instant alerts to any and all news articles that contain key words.  I, for instance, have signed up to be informed the moment anything is published containing the word "Crohn's."  Frequently, I get local news articles about a citizen functioning with the diagnosis (or occasionally dying from it).  I am also alerted any time a new study is published, which also happens with a higher instance of regularity than I would have suspected.  Today is no exception, and I thought this important enough to share.



"Researchers at the University of Edinburgh believe a chemical messenger that is essential for developing a baby's gut in the womb could hold the key to new treatments for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), a condition which affects 1 in 250 people in the UK." That's the introductory paragraph, and you can read the rest of it by clicking the above link.  For those who aren't interested in reading the entire thing, there's a defective gene we appear to have that fails to help colon cells communicate so they know what they're supposed to do.  The scientists behind the study are working to see if they can counter this failure.


This year alone, I've seen studies that linked our condition with dairy enzymes, an absence of a particular bacterium, a lack of healthy exposure to germs in our formative years and being left-handed.  Seriously; lefties are statistically more likely to be Crohnies, though this is not presumed to be a causal relationship.  Is there an underlying relationship amongst these studies, something that is closer to being revealed?  Have they all been colossal wastes of time?  The truth is likelier something between.  Who knows how long we'll have to wait before it's revealed?

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