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Alcohol vs. Liver

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Alcohol vs. Liver

4.5% to 9% of all deaths worldwide can be attributed to Chronic Liver Disease (CLD), CLD can be effectively treated and perhaps even reversed, using a protein therapeutic that has been modified to enhance its activity through site-specific conjugation of a polymer that greatly enhances its residence time in the body,” says senior author Justin Hanes, Ph.D., director of the Center for Nanomedicine at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins. “This approach has tremendous potential to help people with this devastating condition and may also be helpful to the millions of patients with other diseases where fibrosis plays an important role.”

Liver fibrosis and its more severe form, cirrhosis, are caused by scar tissues that forms in the liver that is usually induced by chronic alcohol abuse, infections and autoimmune diseases. The progressive stiffening of the liver, a hallmark of the disorders, occurs when a type of liver cell known as the hepatic stellate cells is activated and over produces the stringy network of proteins called the extracellular matrix that binds cells together.

Being able to turn cirrhosis around, especially in it's late stages would be a great boon, says Seulki Lee, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Radiology and Radiological Science at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “That's because liver fibrosis and cirrhosis can be asymptomatic for decades,” Lee says. ”Many patients only seek treatment when their disease becomes very advanced at which point liver transplant is their only option.

Lee cautions however that his team's work is years from any possible application to patients

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Source; Science Daily<>

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