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Parents of children who have Crohn's disease may be able to monitor their kids' prognosis with the help of a lab test. This is especially important considering that pediatric patients may be hard to treat. Recently, an international team of scientists discovered that adalimumab, an anti-tumor necrosis factor antibody, may be an effective medication for young patients.
Doctors often prescribe steroids for Crohn's disease, but this treatment is inappropriate for children because it may delay physical development. In order to find a more suitable medication, researchers conducted an experiment on 192 Crohn's disease patients, aged 6 to 17 years. The study participants received one of two doses of adalimumab, depending on their weight.
Results showed that after a month of treatment, more than 80 percent of subjects were in remission. At the six-month mark, that figure was 34 percent. After a year, 28.4 percent of children were in remission.
This study is encouraging because it suggests that it is possible to treat Crohn's disease in children without hurting the normal growth and puberty process. Throughout treatment, pediatric patients may also benefit from a lab test to monitor the presence of antibodies, which can act as indicators of disease activity.
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