Treatment for Crohn's Disease shows promising results at Montreal hospital
Doctors at Montreal's Ste-Justine Hospital say they have a treatment for Crohn's Disease that helps keep children out of hospital and improves their long-term health.
Ten-year-old Mikael Carpentier was diagnosed four years ago with the inflammatory bowel disease, which can lead to serious complications if it's not treated.
"Before, I was always sick, I was really tired," he said.
Another side effect of Crohn's is malnutrition, which was affecting Carpentier's growth.
"At diagnosis, the kid was below the normal range for his age and now for the weight he is quite in the middle," said Dr. Prevost Janchou.
Janchou attributes much of his patient's improvement to the early introduction of a monoclonal antibody therapy known as Anti-TNF-Alpha.
The key, the doctor said, is to start the treatment within three months of diagnosis.
"Many kids are using it very early and this helps us to avoid the relapse," said Janchou.
Crohn's Disease patients often experience flare-ups or relapses as it's a chronic disease. Janchou said that since starting his patients on the antibody treatment, instances of relapse dropped from 70 per cent to 50.
"The difference was quite significant," he said.
For Mikael, the therapy has significantly improved his quality of life, but there is a downside. He has to sit through a two-hour infusion every four to eight weeks.
His mother Stephanie D'Attilio said it's difficult but worth it to see her son healthy.