The Crohn's Disease Initiative: Seeking the cause and cure of Crohn's disease Login   |   Contact Us   |   Search   |   Sitemap    
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What is the Crohn's Disease Initiative?

The Crohn's Disease Initiative is a non-profit organization devoted to finding the cause and cure of Crohn's Disease by supporting and encouraging innovative research on causes and therapies directed against the underlying etiology of the disease rather than the symptoms. Located in Billings Montana, and with the strong support of St. Vincents Healthcare and Montana State University-Billings, the Crohn's Disease Initiative plans to extablish a National Center to find the cause of Crohn's disease and offer innovative treatment choices for patients.
The Cause of Crohn's Disease
Since the 1930's, when Crohn's Disease was separated and disregarded as an infectious bacterial disease, research efforts have largely been directed at superficial disease issues. That is not to say that a great deal of valuable information has not been derived from these studies, but only that the patients themselves have generally not benefited from those efforts.

Once Crohn's Disease became an idiopathic (meaning "we do not know") disease, there was an effort to identify the cause or, at least, associate the disease with a cause. In the 1950's, it was assumed that Crohn's Disease was "all in your mind", a psycho-somatic disorder and the recommended treatment was a psychiatrist. This erroneous diagnosis lasted for years: the medical community has historically been slow to change. When the age of immunology arose in the 1960's, everything was considered to have an immunologic cause, including Crohn's Disease. Because the symptoms of Crohn's Disease tended to subside with the administration of anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive agents and the "in thing" at the time was auto-immunity, the logical conclusion was that Crohn's Disease was also an autoimmune disease. But the only evidence for this was the symptomatic response to these immunosuppressive drugs - there was no other evidence and Crohn's Disease does not even have the characteristics or fit the criteria to be classified as an autoimmune disease. Nonetheless, many physicians, and thus their patients, continue to believe that Crohn's Disease is an autoimmune disease like Rheumatoid arthritis. Unfortunately, although the autoimmune theory has been unequivocally dismissed for over 20 years, many physicians and gastroenterologists cling to this theory - the medical community has historically been slow to change

Our Research Efforts
We are focusing our efforts on seeking an infectious agent as the "trigger" for Crohn's disease by the following approaches:

Bacteria as a cause of Crohn's disease
  1. Determining the bacteria present within the inflamed diseased submucosal tissues.
    By determining total bacterial counts (how many bacteria are within the diseased tissues) and the types of bacteria present, we may be able to identify unique microbes within the tissue that may be serving as the "trigger" as well as identify the microbes present within the inflammed tissue that create a cesspool of bacteria and augment the inflammation ...

  2. Determining the presence of invasion and other disease-associated bacterial genes.
    There are known bacterial genes that allow microbes to invade intestinal tissues and cause disease, but it is unknown how many related genes exist in unknown bacteria. By seeking to define the presence of these types of genes, we may be able to identify suspect organisms that are below normal detection methods or identify unknown organisms containing these or related genes. Identifying these genes ...

  3. Evaluating new treatment protocols based on bacterial agents as causative agents, "triggers", and augmenting factors (cesspool).
    There is now overwhelming evidence, and it is generally accepted, that bacteria play a major role in Crohn's disease as secondary factors and maybe even specific microbes as the causative agent. Rather than treat just the symptoms, we are focusing our efforts on treating the underlying bacterial cause(s) as well as exploring means of boosting the immune system ...

DateTitle# of ViewsLast Post Date
03/29/2015Welcome to the Lounge003/29/2015
DateTitle# of ViewsLast Post Date
04/08/2016Article in Preparation, 2016004/08/2016
04/08/2016Article Submitted, 2016004/08/2016
04/08/2016Article Submitted, 2016004/08/2016
04/08/2016Article in PlosOne, 2015004/08/2016
04/08/2016Article: Journal of Microbiological Methods, 2015004/08/2016

How Can I Help?

Donate Now
To accomplish our goals will require a great deal of effort and money, but doing nothing and allowing the issue to continue to linger will cost even more. To succeed, we are going to need your help and support. Learn why you should support our efforts and how you can help us solve this problem and question once and for all.

For a small membership fee, you can join The Crohn's Disease Initiative and have access to certain parts of the site which are not available to the general public, including the ability to interact and ask questions (including private) of the investigators on the project or you can simply make a donation. We have established a variety of donation and sponsorship classes to suit your individual interests.

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