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Crohn's and Colitis Foundation provides important funding

By Anne Craig, Communications Officer

Stephen Vanner and Alan Lomax (School of Medicine) have been awarded $370,000 from the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada to help them and their colleagues continue their cutting edge research in this often debilitating illness.

Dr. Vanner is the director of the Gastrointestinal Diseases Research Unit at Queen’s University and Kingston General Hospital and a leading researcher in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

“We believe the new findings of our research will help patients better understand how pain medications and the chronic stress related to their illness can interact to generate pain,” says Dr. Vanner. “We hope to provide new approaches for patients and doctors to better treat this pain.”

The abdominal pain is associated with IBD is often a debilitating symptom for patients and can result in emotional suffering and physical disability. The pain can be difficult to treat because the underlying cause is often unknown.

Drs. Vanner and Lomax’s study not only examines what factors can decrease pain, but also how, in certain situations, these same factors can worsen pain. This knowledge can help doctors in understanding the pain mechanisms in IBD and guide them through treatment options.

“We are very grateful to the CCFC for providing this opportunity to pursue these important questions and we are dedicated to making a difference in the lives of IBD patients,” adds Dr. Vanner.