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Crohn's researcher wins grant for gene sequencing

Category: General Health

A researcher from Johns Hopkins University has won a grant worth nearly $250,000 that will help track the autoimmune disorder in patients' families. The chronic condition is often passed through families, so a greater understanding of how the disease passes between generations could lead to further discoveries in its treatment.

Grant for research
Steven Brant, M.D., the recipient of the grant, has worked to understand Crohn's since 1996, according to a press release from the university. He has worked to understand the role that genetic mutations play in the development of Crohn's, which may help develop a cure or new treatments. The grant will help Brant and his fellow researchers perform lab tests to examine genes more closely to find the mutations that cause the disease.

The disease can often be debilitating to those who have it, so an increased understanding of how it works could help researchers better comprehend the issues of those with the chronic condition. A lab test online can diagnose the disease in those who think they may have this condition, so it is important to know the symptoms of this gastrointestinal disease.

Symptoms of Crohn's
Crohn's is one of the most common forms of inflammatory bowel disease, which is a group of diseases that cause sometimes severe inflammation in the bowels. LiveScience noted that, while Crohn's can affect any part of the intestines, it generally causes inflammation, sores and ulcers at the end of the large intestine or at the beginning of the small intestine. At this time, Crohn's has no definitive cause, which is why researchers like Brant are searching the human genome.

Crohn's causes the body to respond to bacteria in the intestines as if it were a pathogen. This makes the body attack itself, causing severe abdominal pain, gas and diarrhea that can be bloody. If the intestines become damaged enough, they can fail to properly absorb nutrients, which makes patients susceptible to osteoporosis, anemia, arthritis and a host of other conditions associated with a lack of proper nutrition.

While there is no definitive cure for the disease, treatments and surgeries can allow patients to live more normal lives. For those who have these symptoms or who have adolescents displaying them, a lab test can provide the results necessary to begin treatment.

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