Researchers in Canada have discovered a treatment for Crohn’s disease that could spare thousands of Australians from expensive surgery.
Scientists at the University of British Columbia have found a gene mutation which stops infected mice from developing fibrosis, a common occurence in people with Crohn’s disease.
Crohn’s sufferer Ryan Outram, 22, said the disease had a significant impact on his life and finding a drug to stop him from getting fibrosis would be a huge weight off his shoulders.
“One of the toughest parts about living with a long-term illness is the worry about how it will progress and develop as you age, so anything that makes that process smoother and less of a worry is a drastic improvement,” he said.
Mr Outram said the pain he experienced during a flare-up of the disease was severe.
“My first flare, which lasted about five weeks and preceded my diagnosis, was by far the worst pain I’ve ever experienced.”
More than 75,000 Australians live with Crohn’s disease, but studies by Crohn’s and Colitis Australia predict this could increase by up to 25,000 over the next six years
Scientists say the drug could also be used to treat kidney disease, liver scarring and damage caused by heart attacks.