History of IBD

The first recorded case of what was apparently Crohn’s disease came from an autopsy done in 1612. A few other isolated descriptions show up in the next 200 years but by the 1890s, many cases of IBD were being seen and described in a number of Western countries, including the United States.

In 1932, Dr. Burril Crohn and two other physicians at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City published a paper on regional enteritis, or Crohn’s disease, as it came to be called.

In the 1940s, doctors began treating ulcerative colitis with sulfasalazine, and the relative success of that drug encouraged a rush to research other drug therapies. Interestingly, sulfasalazine is still one of the most useful drugs in treating IBD.

Since 1990 there has been a huge increase in research fueled by new developments in immunology, genetics, and microbiology and a greater understanding of the role of environmental factors in the disease.

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