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Ulcerative colitis research continues in the hope of finding new treatment options. In time, it is believed that more effective treatments with fewer side effects will become available. Some current areas of ulcerative colitis research include omega-3 fatty acids, nicotine, and budesonide.

An Overview of Ulcerative Colitis Research

Doctors and scientists all over the country are conducting ulcerative colitis research. Ulcerative colitis research studies are designed to answer important questions and to find out whether new approaches are safe and effective. Ulcerative colitis research has already led to many advances, and researchers are continuing to search for more effective methods of dealing with ulcerative colitis.

Current Areas of Focus in Ulcerative Colitis Research

Researchers are always looking for new treatments for ulcerative colitis. Ulcerative colitis research scientists are currently investigating the usefulness of a few different therapies in treating this disease. Some of these therapies include:
  • Biologic agents. These include monoclonal antibodies, interferons, and other molecules made by living organisms. Researchers modify these drugs to act in certain ways with decreased side effects, and are studying their effects in people with ulcerative colitis.
  • Budesonide. This corticosteroid may be nearly as effective as prednisone in treating mild ulcerative colitis, and it has fewer side effects.
  • Heparin. Researchers are examining whether the anticoagulant heparin can help control ulcerative colitis.
  • Nicotine. In an early study, symptoms improved in some patients who were given nicotine through a patch or an enema. (This use of nicotine is still experimental -- the findings do not mean that people should go out and buy nicotine patches or start smoking.)
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids. These compounds, naturally found in fish oils, may benefit people with ulcerative colitis by interfering with the inflammatory process.


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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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