Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Crohn's Disease Research Paper Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1000 words

Crohn's Disease - Research Paper Example Conversely, Crohn's disease may appear at any part of the digestive tract—from the mouth down to the anus, but most commonly at the lower part of the small intestine (ileum), involving perhaps all layers of the intestine, with normal healthy bowel between sections of diseased bowel. (National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse 1) Although the exact root of Crohn's disease is still a mystery, the condition is associated with a problem in the reaction of the body's immune system called an autoimmune disorder, where the immune system is unable to distinguish between normal and foreign bodies. (Longstreth) According to Dr. Schoenfeld and Dr. Wu, the cells and proteins composing the immune system, normally defend the body against foreign invaders, such as harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi, etc. by being launched, causing inflammation—an important defense mechanism of the system, within the tissues where activation occurs, and triggered only in the presence of harmfu l invaders; furthermore, continued and abnormal activation of the immune system in the absence of the said foreign bodies results to chronic inflammation and ulceration. Whether this abnormality in the immune system response is a cause or a consequence of Crohn's disease is yet to be determined by scientists, but research shows that a number of factors—genetic inheritance, the immune system itself, and the environment, have to with the aforementioned inflammation in the digestive tract. (NDDIC 2) NDDIC (2) has affirmed that it was found out that people with Crohn's disease have high levels of tumor necrosis factor (TNF), a protein produced by the immune system. Additionally, a gene called NOD2 has been recently identified as an important determining factor of the body’s response to some bacteria, and mutations of which increases a person’s susceptibility to the disease; other genes essential in the understanding of the pathogenesis of Crohn's disease—such as autophagy related 16-like 1 gene (ATG 16L1) and IRGM, both having a role to play in macrophage defects, are continually being studied. (Schoenfeld & Wu) Incidentally, there have been studies showing higher levels of E. coli bacteria in the intestines of those suffering from Crohn’s disease—probably resulting from a genetically determined defect with intestinal mucosal macrophages in eliminating E. coli, as well as speculations that infection by certain bacteria—such as strains of mycobacterium, causes the disease, but still no substantial evidence supporting it, added Dr. Schoenfeld and Dr. Wu. Crohn’s disease may occur at any age, but more often at ages between 15 and 35; other risk factors include: (1) family history of the disease, (2) Jewish ancestry, and (3) smoking. (Longstreth) Nevertheless, the exact relationship between the factors, possible causes and the disease, have not been proven and remains unknown, to date. According to Dr. Paul Klene rman, the symptoms of Crohn’s disease vary depending on its severity and location—many only have mild symptoms like periods of mild fever, at times, accompanied with blood in the stool and abdominal pain; loss of appetite, unintentional weight loss, general malaise, and boils, may also appear.

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