Study Finds New Way to Treat Crohn’s Disease

There may be new hope on the horizon for patients suffering from Crohn’s Disease. This chronic condition of the intestinal tract is characterized by severe inflammation and causes diarrhea, abdominal pain and internal bleeding. Many of the medications currently used to treat Crohn’s Disease are associated with serious side effects but a drug called naltrexone may be able to offer help.

The root cause of Crohn’s Disease is as yet unknown, so treating it can be difficult. A double-blind study to judge the effectiveness of naltrexone was recently conducted. This Penn State College of Medicine research study showed that naltrexone reduced patient’s inflammation. Seventy-eight percent showed healing in the lining of the intestines upon biopsy and eighty-eight percent saw a significant decrease in their Crohn’s Disease Activity Index scores.

Further research is already being planned for this drug. The researchers are planning to begin clinical trials to look at the effect of this drug in children with Crohn’s. A patent has already been secured for the use of this drug to treat Crohn’s.

Naltroxone was not originally intended for this use. It first went on the market as a treatment for addiction recovery. Drug addicts and alcoholics were prescribed the drug to help them stay clean. It regulates the body’s opioid system, which regulates pain and cell growth, repair and inflammation. It blocks both the opioid substances introduced into the body and those that the body produces itself.

Researchers believe that the opioid system must be involved in creating or increasing the inflammation caused by this inflammatory bowel disorder. Interrupting the interplay of opioids within the body may help quell this disorder.

If you would like to read more about this advance in treatment, visit the full article.

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