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Could bone marrow transplant help treat Crohn's disease?

Many Newark residents struggling with Crohn's disease know that even doctors and researchers struggle to agree on a definition of the condition. Some focus on it as an inflammatory bowel disease, while others approach the incurable condition as an autoimmune disorder.

Both approaches converge on this point, however: Crohn's disease sufferers can often be prevented from working by the condition. When that happens, they can become eligible for Social Security Disability benefits.

The good news for those with Crohn's disease is that Emory University researchers are exploring possibilities that a person's own bone marrow can be used to prevent Crohn's flare-ups and stop damage from the disease.

Bone marrow therapy is being conducted in a clinical trial at the Emory School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia.

The researchers there say even after bone marrow transplant surgery is performed, the disease and accompanying symptoms of abdominal pain, malnutrition, diarrhea and other problems can resurface.

A doctor involved in the research notes that it's still unknown what causes Crohn's disease. She added that the bone marrow transplant is not a cure for the condition, but that with the procedure they hope to "be able to significantly improve the course of this disease."

Researchers harvest mesenchymal stromal cells from the bone marrow to treat Crohn's disease and other debilitating autoimmune conditions.

For those prevented from working by the condition, the research offers promising possibilities.

And Social Security Disability offers them needed, deserved help with bills and expenses. When the Social Security Administration denies an SSDI claim, an experienced attorney can guide the applicant through complicated appeals paperwork and procedures.

Source: EmaxHealth.com, "Researchers using bone marrow for treating Crohn's disease," Kathleen Blanchard, Dec. 17, 2013

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