Ulcerative Colitis Cure
Cure Crohn’s and Colitis exist for just one purpose – to support research into a cure for Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease – read about the amazing progress we’ve already made and the next exciting step in our journey towards finding a cure for these debilitating conditions.
Curing Ulcerative Colitis has so far proved an impossible task for gastroenterologists, despite years of research from specialists all around the world. The reason for this is that until now the actual cause of the condition has not been well enough understood.
Ulcerative Colitis is referred to as an IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) creating ulcers and open sores throughout the large intestine causing pain, diarrhoea and bleeding. It is not restricted to the gut however, and can cause inflammation and other problems affecting the spine, the joints, the skin, mouth and even the eyes.
Like Crohn’s Disease, ulcerative colitis was until recently referred to as an “Auto Immune” condition: This means the body’s own defensive systems mistake their own tissue for an external infection, and cause damage to the body in their efforts to eradicate this “invader”.
Recently however, specialists have realised that Ulcerative Colitis is in fact caused by a two factors: The first is a genetic weakness or susceptibility to the condition itself, the second is an environmental “trigger” such as a bacteria or virus, although exactly what this is has not yet been discovered.
The vital first step for researchers in creating an Ulcerative Colitis cure is to understand the inherited traits that make an individual susceptible to this disease. One of the first studies of this kind, conducted at Oxford University, was actually funded by Cure Crohn’s and Colitis and was the first to identify genes linked to susceptibility to Ulcerative Colitis.
Since then scientists the world over have been building on this pioneering study , identifying scores of genetic connections to different forms of inflammatory bowel conditions. Over time this has created quite a detailed picture of the genetic patterns of susceptibility to Ulcerative Colitis.
This information provides an invaluable foundation for researchers to take the next step – discovering just what it is that triggers some susceptible patients to develop Ulcerative Colitis where, for example, their brother or sister might not.
There are many thousands of sufferers of Ulcerative Colitis throughout the world, and tracking their information in the detail suggested above seemed an impossible task, particularly with their diverse races and genetic make-up coupled with different climates, diets and other environmental factors. To add still more complication, the different medical organisations and research institutions around the world can closely guard their information, making them unlikely to share what could be vital data in forming a connection between a patients’ environments and their likeliehood of developing ulcerative colitis.
Fortunately there is one country in the world where all the right conditions for this research exist – Scotland.
Not only does Scotland have a high rate of Ulcerative Colitis, its population is made up of a wide variety of races and genetic types that, although evenly distributed throughout the country, show distinct concentrations of Ulcerative Colitis diagnoses in certain areas. This indicates that there is something going on in these areas that is triggering Ulcerative Colitis, and by looking closely at these patients, their medical histories and their lifestyles, we just may be able to discover what.
Tracking this information in detail is made even easier as every patient in Scotland has a Community Health Index (CHI) Number, which links them with their entire medical history on a central database, which can be accessed and examined by specialists from all of Scotland’s five main teaching hospitals.
Nowhere else in the world to the genetic, environmental and informational conditions exist together, making this the ideal place to finally pinpoint just exactly what it is that triggers Ulcerative Colitis, information which can be used to find its cure.
Cure Crohn’s and Colitis is dedicated to pushing forward this invaluable research. 100% of the funds raised by our charity go directly towards funding this medical research.
All our staff suffer from or have a connection to Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn’s Disease and, as unpaid volunteers, it is this connection which drives us to find a cure for these painful and debilitating conditions.