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Medical News Today is reporting that researchers from the University of Massachusetts Medical Center have found a way to treat an disease similar to Alcoholic Liver Disease (ALD) in mice.

“By feeding mice a diet that included alcohol, Gyongyi Szabo and colleagues were able to mimic ALD progression in humans. They found that inflammation stimulated by a protein known as IL-1. Abrogating production of IL-1 or treating mice with drugs that turn-off the IL-1 inflammatory pathway could prevent the development of ALD in mice and could also reverse early-stage ALD. This study suggests that blocking IL-1 may be a new therapeutic approach in the treatment of ALD”. [Medical News Today, 2012]

It is estimated that there are 17.6 million alcoholic individuals in the United States and 140 million worldwide. Although not all alcoholics develop symptomatic alcoholic liver disease (ALD), more than 12,000 deaths per year are attributed to ALD in the United States. The clinical spectrum of ALD includes alcoholic fatty liver, alcoholic steatohepatitis with or without fibrosis, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular cancer. Clinical observations suggest that steatosis and early phases of steatohepatitis are reversible; however, there is no definitive treatment available for any stages of the alcohol-related liver diseases. Short of abstinence, therapeutic options are limited, and even cessation of alcohol consumption may not prevent the progression of alcohol-induced liver damage. [The American Society for Clinical Investigation, 2012]

This new research brings hope for more therapeutic treatments for ALD. Read the full research article here.

Sources:
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/249885.php
http://www.jci.org/articles/view/60777?key=46fbdb395504028e9190

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