Friday, February 27, 2009

New Genetic Targets for Drugs to Treat Crohn's Disease

THURSDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- An international team of researchers has pinpointed new genetic targets for drugs to treat Crohn's disease, a chronic and painful condition caused by inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract.

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia-led group used a new gene-searching method, combining a statistical tool that identifies genes interacting on the same biological pathways with highly automated gene-hunting techniques that scan the whole genome.

An initial analysis was performed on DNA from 1,758 Crohn's patients and 1,480 people without the disease. All of them were of European ancestry. The analysis was repeated in three more groups, of both European and African ancestry.

"Among hundreds of known biological pathways, the one that surfaced from the analysis as being most significant included genes already known to be relevant to the biology of Crohn's disease," study leader Dr. Hakon Hakonarson, director of the Center for Applied Genomics at Children's Hospital, said in a news release from the hospital.

The interleukin 12 (IL12) pathway governs cell receptors involved in the developed of Crohn's disease. Previous research has found that monoclonal antibodies that block the IL12 receptor show some clinical success in treating Crohn's disease.

The study was published online and in the March 13 print issue of The American Journal of Human Genetics.

"As we better understand the gene pathways operating in Crohn's disease, we are uncovering more potential targets for effective drug treatments," study co-author Dr. Robert Baldassano, a pediatric gastroenterologist and director of the Center for Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease at Children's Hospital, said in the same news release.

Developing targeted therapies based on gene pathways might enable doctors to tailor treatments to a patient's genetic profile, he added.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Crohn's Condition Update

So after spending a month or two uninsured, I have health insurance back. My Crohn's disease is in a mild flare up and it is currently goinggn untreated and unmedicated. I hope everyone out there is doing well. Drop me a line sometime and let me know how you guys are doing. I will be getting back into updating my Crohn's Disease Blog over the next couple of weeks. Thanks for all of your support!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Crohn's Disease and Cycling - More Crohn's and Sports info

Crohn's disease and cycling

From Cycling Article

I'm a 28-year-old recreational rider who likes to ride four to five times a week, I start by building up easily and when I'm in shape, my longest rides are about 160 km (ore about 100 miles). I also like climbing the French mountains, but also at a recreational pace. As you notice, I'm not exactly a pro, but I always like to get in better shape.
I've been recently diagnosed with Crohn's disease, which is also a cause of anaemia (lowest hematocrit ever measured was 27, most of the time it's about 35). This of course doesn't help my riding. The doctors at the hospital were very helpful and gave me all the medicines I need to control my disease, but they couldn't give me much info about Crohn's and sports.

There are two big issues:
My body refuses to absorb iron. I take iron supplements (each day I take 3 times the dose a normal person should take and extra vitamin C, because it helps the iron absorption (both on doctors prescription), but my hematocrit and haemoglobin levels stay low
Because of the disease, my body doesn't absorb much proteins either. I take protein supplements after hard trainings, but would it help if I would drink protein drinks on a more regular (daily) basis?
o, apart from more training, what could help me to get in a better shape? Proteins? More iron supplements? Any other training tips for Crohn's patients?

Pam Hinton replies:

As you are well aware, Crohn's disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease. Although the inflammation and scarring can affect any region of the gastrointestinal tract, typically the ileum (part of the small intestine) and colon are affected. The inflammation caused by Crohn's disease damages the mucosa, where nutrient absorption occurs. As a result, the ability of the intestine to do its job is severely compromised.

Weight loss is common due to reduced intake because of abdominal pain, cramping, and diarrhoea. In addition, the ability of the intestine to absorb the energy-yielding macronutrients, in particular, protein and fat, may be reduced. Special liquid diet formulations are available that provide partially digested proteins, as amino acids (elemental diet) or small peptides (polymeric diet). These require a physician's prescription, but you can also buy liquid supplements with partially hydrolysed proteins that may increase the amount of protein you absorb. Consumption of small amounts of protein at higher frequency may also increase the amount absorbed.

Iron deficiency is common in individuals with Crohn's disease due to poor intake and blood losses via the gastrointestinal tract. Deficiency of vitamin B12 is also common, as it is absorbed in the ileum. Anaemia can result from deficiency of iron and/or vitamin B12. Both B12 and iron can be administered via injection if needed. Individuals with Crohn's are at risk for osteoporosis (loss of bone) because of both the disease and the corticosteroids that are used to treat the disease. Therefore, most individuals take supplemental calcium and vitamin D.
If you haven't already done so, you might talk to a dietitian who specialises in inflammatory bowel disease. Good luck!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Crohn's Disease Patient Claims Marijuana was to Treat Crohn's

Ok, so I want to use this as a serious article, but it's impossible. This buffoon gets caught growing 54 plants (Obiously not for personal use), has methamphetamines in his system and cocaine in his pocket. So much for using this to stimulate discussion regarding medical marijuana and Crohn's Disease!! Article Below:

Police who raided the home of chronically sick Christopher Hazelwood found 54 cannabis plants which he claimed he was growing to use as pain relief for his condition.

Mendip magistrates were told that tattoo artist Hazelwood had suffered Crohn's disease for many years and had to be fed through a tube in his stomach because he could not take food through his mouth. The court heard that 48-year-old Hazelwood also had brittle bones and the disease osteoporosis had already set in.

His solicitor, Gwen Browne, told the court at Frome that Hazelwood used the drugs both as pain relief and an appetite stimulant and that the small amount of amphetamines that were found were to give him a decent standard of life.

Hazelwood, of Sunny- mead, Oakhill, pleaded guilty to producing a quantity of cannabis on December 16, possession of cannabis and possession of cocaine.

Magistrates adjourned the case until Wednesday, February 25, and asked for a pre-sentence report. They told Hazelwood they were looking at all sentencing options and had not ruled out sending the case to crown court for sentencing.

Jill Macnamara, prosecuting, said that when police raided the house they found six plants in the shed and more plants in a bedroom, while in the kitchen they found some small bags containing the amphetamines and cannabis. She said that cannabis plants were of various sizes with seven of the smallest plants and 10 large plants.

Miss Macnamara said that the plants were growing in soil and officers found a timer, thermostat, a boxed fan and lights, which were a set up for growing the drug. "The defendant fully admitted that he was growing the plants and explained that while it was for a significant medical condition he was not putting forward his medical reason as an excuse."
Miss Browne said it was an unsophisticated growing system.

"At their biggest they were 44cms tall and 25 of them were 34cms tall. The plants would last him three weeks." "These plants were for medical uses. He has extremely distressing long-term health problems. The cannabis is both for pain relief and an appetite stimulant."

She said that Hazelwood had 3.58g of amphetamines in his possession and that his condition was so drastic that it prevented him from going out most of the time.

Crohn's Disease Blog