It's a disease that's difficult to live with and to treat. See what researchers say may put the brakes on Crohn's disease.
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Dr. Dean Edell: For Kristen Smith Crohn's Disease casued all kinds of terrible symptoms. Kristen Smith: Flaring up, weight loss, diarrhea, tired, stabbing pain. Dr. Alan Buchman: Crohn's Disease is generally considered an autoimmune disease Dr. Dean Edell: Patients often need to try several treatments before getting relief. Dr. Brian Dieckgraefe: Remicade or Infliximab that is probably the gold standard for treating patients at this point. Dr. Dean Edell: In Crohn's disease, white blood cells produce too much of a chemical called Tumor Necrosis Factor or TNF. Remicade blocks the TNF that causes inflammation. Dr. Alan Buchman: We are searching for drugs that are not only better or work better than other drugs that are commercially available but that are safer. Dr. Dean Edell: Researchers at Northwestern University are testing another drug called CNI-1493 Drug which also blocks the message to make TNF. Kristen Smith was part of that study. Kristen Smith: They're kind of at the end of the road with normal treatment. Dr. Alan Buchman: The idea is that we can block this inflammatory cascade and stop the inflammation from occurring. Dr. Dean Edell: The drug has other advantages. Dr. Alan Buchman: It's also a small molecule which means that it's not a full protein. And it's unlikely that the body will develop a reaction against it. Dr. Dean Edell: Researchers are now analyzing the results of their study in hope to publish their findings in the next year. I am Dr. Dean Edell.