Insights in non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)

Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a type of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) which occurs when fat builds up on the liver. The exact causes of NASH are still being researched, but there are some risk factors that contribute to the development of this disease. For example, people that are overweight and obese, as well as people with type 2 diabetes, heart disease and metabolic syndrome, are most likely to develop NASH at some point in their lives.

People who develop NASH don’t usually present symptoms. It is commonly diagnosed by blood tests, imaging procedures (such as ultrasounds or MRI), and by liver biopsies. Until now, there is not a lot of research in NASH biomarkers, so a less invasive way of diagnosing the disease is not available at the time. This is why the confirmation by a liver biopsy is necessary.

If people are diagnosed with NAFLD or NASH, it is important that they are treated and make changes in their lifestyle. If NASH is left untreated, it could lead to cirrhosis, which eventually could lead to liver failure and surely increase the possibility of needing a liver transplant. Today, there are no drugs marketed for treating NASH, but the good news is that there are several pharmaceutical companies researching drugs that have the potential to be the future treatment for this disease. It is good to know that pharmaceutical companies are now looking further into this because it is predicted that by the next decade, NASH could be the leading cause of liver transplants instead of alcoholism and viral hepatitis.

Althian is currently enrolling patients in a NASH protocol from an international pharmaceutical company. We are excited to be part of the new research tendencies for this disease and also, to help people realize how important it is to have a healthier lifestyle and that if NASH is left untreated, it could lead to important health issues in the future.

 

References:

Adams, B. (24 de Octubre de 2017). FierceBiotech. Obtenido de http://www.fiercebiotech.com/biotech/high-dose-gilead-nimbus-nash-med-hits-liver-fat?mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiTTJVd1pURmtNalU1WmpBeiIsInQiOiJVbFdLak1BbmhLSnFrNjFseWZCMnlWRHJPMHpGd3BkVWppMytrU2Y0SlJZalBmNXFVYVZTOVJ0WWJHVGxFaHBKOUd1RXhvTHE5UDQ1Qk43YlwvakdpeE43RW1paU

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. (2017). Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease & NASH. Obtenido de https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/liver-disease/nafld-nash/treatment

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