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How have treatments for Crohn's disease progressed?

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In 2015, researchers found that an experimental drug called mongersen caused remission in Crohn’s disease patients after two weeks of treatment, reports WebMD. Another 2015 study found that 2,000 international units of vitamin D a day significantly reduced fatigue and muscle weakness while improving quality of life in Crohn’s patients.

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Mongersen might be safer than the existing drugs used to treat Crohn’s, and unlike the biologics Remicade and Humira, which require IV or injection dosing, mongersen is taken orally in pill form, explains WebMD. Oral ingestion allows rapid release to the inflamed portions of the digestive tract, where the drug supports the activity of an anti-inflammatory protein that eases symptoms. Two-thirds of the study’s patients who received the highest dose of mongersen and more than half of those on the next-highest dose all experienced remission, evidencing no symptoms of Crohn’s 28 days after the study began.

In the vitamin D study, researchers found that 27 patients who had Crohn's in remission experienced increased hand grip strength and statistically significant perceived quality of life improvements after taking 2,000 international units of vitamin D a day for three months, according to WebMD. Crohn’s, a chronic inflammatory disease that reduces muscular function and causes abdominal cramps, rectal bleeding and diarrhea, is the result of the patient’s immune system attacking the digestive tract’s lining. As many as 700,000 individuals in the United States have Crohn’s disease.

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