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A monkey study shows that worm therapy could help ease colitis

May
30

Date: May 30th, 2014

Crohn’s disease and colitis are medical conditions that have really become increasing common in recent days but there seems to be hope in the tunnel. The parasitic microscopic pig worm eggs seem to be the answer to these conditions and while the treatment might sound unsavory, it could be the much-awaited treatment. In the study, which by the way even the BLS healthcare provider trainee should follow, 5 young rhesus monkeys which had been diagnosed to be suffering from idiopathic chronic diarrhea showed their symptoms greatly relieved after worm treatment was administered to them. This resulted in their gut being heath and considerably reduced inflammation of their colon or large intestine.

How helminthes help humans

Otherwise known as helminthes, such worms are found in the intestinal tract of humans where they assist in keeping it healthy. But the presence of such worms has been fading considerably in the most developed regions of the world and this has led to a rampant increase of autoimmune bowel disorders such as colitis and Crohn’s. A researcher in the study said that helminthes are parasites. They are also pathogenic and most places in the world are working to eliminate them as malnourished children usually have helminth infections, which can lead to severe health problems.

However, one must look at things from another angle in industrialized places considering that there has been a significant increase of autoimmune diseases for the last 50 years in line with the continued development of the society. And while most people were colonized greatly with helminthes, the complex changes on the environment brought about by eating habit changes have reduced the number drastically. Industrialized countries have recorded a dramatic drop of helminth infections but this also been accompanied by an increase in inflammatory bowel disease and more than 1.4 million Americans are now affected by it.

Restoration of immune regulatory networks

Even though researchers conducted in the past have shown that reintroduction of microbial such as helminthes might help these patients, it was unclear as to how these worms work magically in the intestines, until now. The study confirmed that the worms act to have immune regulatory networks restored, which controls the immune system through restoration of levels of gut bacterial and also stimulates mucus production.

It is no doubt that the average person could find that worm therapy can be a very horrifying thing but what really matters is the end result. A patient who is relatively well knowledgeable about the inflammatory bowel disease wouldn’t hesitate to try out this new therapy. This is because most patients seem to be very scared about conventional biologic and immune suppressive treatments that come with serious risks of infections and numerous side effects. This fascinating study has shown that worms could significantly affect the makeup of bacterial in the colon and provide great relief for the patients.

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