(CNN) – Crohn’s disease is a chronic bowel condition that causes inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. Symptoms can include abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, weight loss and malnutrition.
Now researchers believe they’ve made a discovery that could lead to new treatments for Crohn’s and other inflammatory diseases.
Researchers at the University of British Columbia were studying fibrosis thick scarring caused by inflammation, it can block the intestines and lead to the destruction of tissue.
UBC scientists say they’ve discovered a mutation that blocks the development of fibrosis.
“We found a population of cells that seems to drive fibrosis in Crohn’s disease and we found a way of targeting those cells so that they, we can dampen them down and prevent fibrosis,” said Professor Kelly McNagny.
They say the discovery could help people who have tissue scarring from health issues, like heart attacks and muscle degeneration or who suffer from inflammatory conditions like liver cirrhosis, or chronic kidney disease.
Copyright CNN 2016