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Genetic And Microbiome Discoveries Point The Way To New Treatments For Crohn's & Colitis Patients

NEW YORK, July 18, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- High-powered research teams supported by the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) are gearing up for an ambitious new goal:  developing individualized treatment approaches for patients with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis (UC), also known as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), through their Genetics and Microbiome Research Initiatives.

It's fundraising programs like Take Steps, the Foundation's national walk program dedicated to raising funds for critical research and increasing awareness of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, that are driving forces behind the advancements that have been made in IBD research.  "We anticipate that in the next three to five years, we will identify novel genetic and microbial targets that will form the basis for new therapeutic interventions," said Caren Heller, MD, MBA, Chief Scientific Officer, the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America. 

Now in its seventh year, Take Steps is gearing up for its Fall walk season with over 45 walks scheduled across the country.  Take Steps walks are family friendly festivals with activities for everyone including games, music, and great food.  "We're here to provide hope and support for the 1.4 million Americans affected by Crohn's and colitis," said Rick Geswell, President & CEO of the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America.   "We are grateful for everyone who helps raise awareness and crucial funds through programs like Take Steps and I assure you that all money raised is used wisely, with 82 cents of every dollar spent going toward groundbreaking research, patient and professional education, and patient support programs, " said Geswell. 

About Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis
Known collectively as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis affects 1 in 200 people.  They are painful, medically incurable diseases that attack the digestive system. Crohn's disease may attack anywhere along the digestive tract, while ulcerative colitis inflames only the large intestine (colon). Symptoms may include abdominal pain, persistent diarrhea, rectal bleeding, fever and weight loss. Many patients require numerous hospitalizations and surgery.  Most people develop the diseases between the ages of 15 and 35; however the incidence is increasing in children.

About the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America
The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) is the largest voluntary non-profit health organization dedicated to finding cures for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD). CCFA's mission is to cure Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and to improve the quality of life of children and adults who suffer from these diseases. The Foundation works to fulfill its mission by funding research, providing educational resources for patients and their families, medical professionals, and the public, and furnishing supportive services for those afflicted with IBD. For more information, visit, call 888-694-8872, join us on Facebook at and, or follow CCFA and Take Steps on Twitter at and

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SOURCE Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America
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