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UPMC Expert Explores the Complexities of Inflammatory Bowel Disease at Conference

HOLLYWOOD, Fla., Dec. 1, 2011 – A leader of UPMC’s Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center will explore the complexities and future treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) at the 10th annual Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America’s Clinical and Research Conference in Hollywood, Florida.

Center co-director Miguel Regueiro, M.D., will participate in two educational sessions this weekend. He sits on the national steering committee for the symposium, which covers advances in IBD research and treatment.

“Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are chronic conditions most often diagnosed in the teenage years or early adulthood,” Dr. Regueiro said. “While patients usually don’t die from IBD, affected individuals live with its debilitating symptoms during the most productive years of their lives.”

Dr. Regueiro’s first talk at 8 a.m., Friday, Dec. 2, is part of the plenary session “Future Directions in IBD.” Dr. Regueiro will address the unanswered clinical questions concerning IBD, such as:

  • Why do some patients stop responding to IBD treatments?
  • Do IBD patients in remission need to continue treatment for the rest of their lives?
  • Is partial healing as an end result sometimes acceptable in certain patient populations?
  • What is the best way to manage post-operative Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis?
  • Will genetic discoveries ever answer all of the questions surrounding these diseases?

He also will participate in the “Current Controversies in IBD II” debate session at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 3, and will discuss the immediate treatment with biologic therapies following intestinal surgery in IBD patients.

The term IBD covers a group of disorders in which the intestines become inflamed as the result of an immune reaction. The two major types of IBD, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, vary in intensity and severity of illness in every patient. Symptoms range from abdominal cramps or diarrhea to severe weight loss and intestinal blockages. IBD can have a severe impact on a patient’s quality of life.

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