Kids & Inflammatory Bowel Disease

December 29, 2008 8:41:06 PM PST
Doctors say there's been a jump in the number of kids with Inflammatory Bowel Disease, or IBD, over the past ten years. That includes Chrohn's disease (more commonly in kids) and ulcerative colitis. Both lead to chronic inflammation in the intestinal tract. "I have it in one of the intestines and it's kind of a sore spot. So you can't get all your nutrition from it and then you have diarrhea," said fourth-grader Ryan Haney who has Chrohn's disease.

There is no cure for inflammatory bowel disease, but researchers at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia have identified two gene variants related to childhood onset of the disease.

Dr. Robert Baldassano said researchers have uncovered about 30 genes that may be related to IBD in adult patients. Heredity, he said, is an even stronger factor in kids with the disease. He said identifying the new gene variants will help researchers understand why people get the disease.

Doctors hope their studies will lead to better treatments or ways to prevent IBD.

Ryan's mother, Stacey, said this give them hope.