Researchers at UCI have developed a safe, inexpensive drug for the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) refers to a number of diseases that cause inflammation of the colon and small intestine. IBDs include the conditions Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC), where intestinal inflammation leads to symptoms such as severe abdominal cramps, pelvic spasms, and nausea. In some cases, the symptoms of IBDs give rise to secondary complications like weight loss and anemia. Currently, more than 1.5 million Americans have some form of IBD, most of whom were diagnosed before the age of 35. Despite its prevalence, chronic inflammatory IBDs (including CD and UC) are not medically curable. Treatment options instead focus on relieving the symptoms of IBDs through controlled diet, drug therapies, and, if necessary, surgical interventions. These treatment options are often highly specific to the particular IBD symptoms of the afflicted patient.
Researchers at UCI have instead developed a drug treatment/management option that targets the root cause of IBD – intestinal inflammation. The drug consists of several safe and readily available vitamins and has been shown in IBD mouse models to completely prevent intestinal inflammation. If successful in humans, this drug could offer the first universal treatment/management for reducing or even preventing the inflammation that leads to IBD.