What are NASH and Fatty Liver Disease?
Fatty liver disease is a condition characterized by the accumulation of fat in the liver. It can be caused by excessive alcohol consumption (alcoholic fatty liver disease) or by factors unrelated to alcohol (nonalcoholic fatty liver disease or NAFLD). NAFLD encompasses a range of conditions, with the most severe form known as nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). NASH is a progressive liver disease that can lead to liver fibrosis, cirrhosis, and even liver cancer.
Fatty liver disease and NASH have become increasingly prevalent worldwide, with estimates suggesting that approximately 25% of the global population is affected by NAFLD. The rise in obesity rates, sedentary lifestyles, and unhealthy dietary habits are contributing factors to this alarming trend.
The underlying mechanisms of NASH are complex and not yet fully understood. However, it is believed that insulin resistance, oxidative stress, inflammation, and genetic predisposition play significant roles in its development.
Current Treatments for Fatty Liver Disease and NASH
Currently, there is no approved medication specifically for the treatment of NASH. The standard recommendations for managing fatty liver disease and NASH involve lifestyle modifications. These include weight loss through a healthy diet and regular exercise, as well as the management of associated conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
Research efforts have been focused on developing pharmacological treatments to target the underlying mechanisms of NASH and reduce liver fat accumulation, inflammation, and fibrosis. Several clinical trials are underway to evaluate the safety and efficacy of various investigational drugs.
Advancements in NASH Research
The field of NASH research has seen exciting developments in recent years. Several potential therapeutic targets and drug candidates are being explored to address the unmet medical need for effective NASH treatments.
One promising approach involves targeting the pathways involved in liver fat metabolism, inflammation, and fibrosis. Some investigational drugs aim to improve insulin sensitivity, reduce liver fat accumulation, and prevent liver cell damage. These medications have shown promising results in early clinical trials, and further studies are ongoing to assess their long-term safety and efficacy.
Another area of focus is the development of antifibrotic therapies that can halt or reverse liver fibrosis, a critical determinant of NASH progression. These treatments aim to inhibit the activation of hepatic stellate cells, which are responsible for excessive collagen deposition in the liver. By targeting fibrotic processes, researchers hope to prevent the development of advanced liver disease and its associated complications.
Clinical Trials for NASH
Velocity Clinical Research is actively involved in conducting clinical trials for investigational medications aimed at treating NASH. These trials aim to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of potential medications for fatty liver disease and NASH.
Participating in a clinical trial can provide individuals with access to cutting-edge therapies and contribute to the advancement of NASH research. If you’re interested in learning more about ongoing clinical trials for NASH at Velocity, fill out this form and speak with a recruitment specialist.
The future of NASH treatment holds promise, and ongoing research endeavors are dedicated to finding effective therapies to combat this increasingly prevalent liver disease.
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease & NASH: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/liver-disease/nafld-nash
- American Liver Foundation. Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: https://liverfoundation.org/for-patients/about-the-liver/diseases-of-the-liver/non-alcoholic-fatty-liver-disease/