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E. A Potential New Treatment For Colitis
Narrator: This is Science Today. Researchers have uncovered what may be the biochemical cause of colitis - a finding that may introduce a whole new way to treat this painful, inflammatory bowel disease. Nigel Bunnett, lead investigator of the University of California, San Francisco study, says their findings are especially important because current treatments are not ideal.

Bunnett: First line treatments for inflammatory bowel disease often have limited effect or carry serious side effects, such as osteoporosis and mood shifts. Surgery can treat some forms of inflammation, but not all.

Narrator: In the lab, Bunnett and his colleagues found a lack of an enzyme called NEP is at the root of colitis. Bunnett: I think it's very exciting because the magnitude of the inflammation, not only in the colon, but also in other tissues such as the pancreas and the skin, is far greater in animals that lack NEP than in normal animals. If this carries over to humans, then this really could be an important component to inflammatory bowel disease and inflammation of other tissues.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.