New study shows promising future for patients with Crohn’s Disease

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- The largest study on pediatric patients with Crohn’s Disease will pave the way for how those young patients are treated as soon as they're diagnosed.

The groundbreaking work is the result of the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation's "RISK Stratification Study.” It looked at more than 900 pediatric patients over three years.

The research consists of 25 U.S. institutions, including Riley Hospital for Children. Lauren Pitts of Fishers was a part of the study. Her brother also has the disease.

"If I eat something wrong, there's a stinging pain, so it hurts really badly and it causes screaming and crying and I can't move sometimes," Lauren said.

Crohn’s is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that affects the lining of the digestive tract. Many patients develop other conditions that require multiple hospital visits or surgery. But now there’s hope. A new study has helped researchers identify ways to provide a road map for patient care, as soon as they're diagnosed.

"We were able to identify some blood and genetic markers that predicted complications of Crohn's Disease. In addition we were able to identify some medications that might prevent progression of Crohn's Disease if they're started at an earlier time point."

The Pitts family says this is a game changer that will do away with trial and error treatment.

"That parents have some type of idea of what's happening with their child or what to expect because before we wouldn't have any idea of whether or not a medicine was going to work or what's going to happen down the line," said Toya Pitts, mother.

Even with a chronic illness, the family wants their kids to know this diagnosis won't define them and there is hope.

"As you get older and whatever life endeavors you meet you did it with Crohn's and you'll be able to help the next person with your testimony," said Donovan Pitts Sr., father.

To take a complete look at the study click here.