[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
Medical News & Perspectives
December 8, 2004

Scientists Explore Pathogenesis of IBD

JAMA. 2004;292(22):2708-2713. doi:10.1001/jama.292.22.2708

Chicago—While inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) has been studied and treated for decades, it remains mysterious in many ways. Various complex factors keep researchers guessing why some individuals develop Crohn disease or ulcerative colitis (the conditions that fall under the label of IBD), while others are never afflicted.

But science is making headway, and researchers are beginning to paint a picture of IBD that includes genetic susceptibility, an abnormal balance between beneficial and pathogenic bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract, defects in the integrity of the intestinal epithelium, and a disregulated immune response of the host. It is now believed that a combination of these factors is necessary for IBD to develop.