• The cause of Crohn’s – CICRA Research

    There has been much talk in the media of the causes of Crohn’s disease and the possibility of this being related to junk food and/or antibiotics.

    From 36 years of funding research into Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis) we know that this is a very complex condition with many symptoms and possibly a combination of factors as the cause.  Currently there is research being carried out into many areas including looking for one or more triggers.

    Our small charity has spent £millions over 36 years on scientific research and training of paediatric gastroenterologists as well as supporting families affected by Crohn’s or Colitis.

    Our current and past research programme over the last three years is as diverse as ever and includes:

    • An investigation of commonly used IBD drugs on autophagy pathway activity and potential therapeutic benefit for treatment of paediatric IBD.
    • Fatty acids and adipokines link childhood Crohn’s disease and gut immune system
    • Investigating the use of CD8+ T-cell gene expression signature as disease prognostic
    • Characterisation of gut microbial taxonomy and Functionality using Next Generation sequencing in children with Crohn’s disease during exclusive enteral nutrition
    • Multicentre feasibility study on the efficacy of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-10) and growth hormone (GHO in children with Crohn’s disease-induced growth failure)
    • Epigenetics in paediatric IBD
    • The immunogenetic profiling of children with inflammatory bowel disease
    • Mechanisms of abdominal pain in childhood IBD
    • Training in genomic informatics in paediatric IBD
    • Paediatric IBD epidemiology study in Scotland
    • Sequencing regions of the genome that code for proteins
    • Exploring the microbiota of children
    • The study of gene defect (XBP1)
    • Characterisation of genome-wide epigenetic alteration in childhood onset Crohn’s disease
    • Nutrition and disease activity in paediatric IBD
    • Role and regulation of colonic Paneth Cell metaplasia in paediatric IBD
    • To identify molecular signatures of the inflammatory process

    Be assured that research is being carried out into all areas and particularly the basic scientific understanding of what has gone wrong with the body when Crohn’s or Colitis appears,  in what is in some cases a very healthy person up to that point.  The increase in the amount of children being diagnosed over the last 30 years has been dramatic and in recent years the age has lowered to a point where many are being diagnosed as toddlers. Scientific research helps all ages and has amassed a huge pool of knowledge of the condition but as yet no definite cause or cure.

    Something is happening and we need to keep up our research to help fit the missing parts of the jigsaw. You can be assured that almost all monies raised by CICRA are used for research – we need to find the answers. Research is painfully slow but we won’t find the cause or cure without  it.