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09-26-06, 03:49 PM #1
Cheap and readily available drug could reverse liver disease caused by alcoholics
A cheap and readily available drug could reverse severe liver disease, even in patients who find it impossible to give up booze, research suggests.
Sulphasalazine is currently used to treat arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.
But a University of Newcastle team has found that it can also reverse the scarring associated with cirrhosis of the liver.
It would not be too optimistic to say this drug could halve that death rate
Scientists had thought that the scarring associated with cirrhosis - known as fibrosis - was irreversible.
However, recent studies have shown that is not the case.
Now the Newcastle team, in tests on animals, have shown that Sulphasalazine can aid the recovery process.
When the liver is injured specialised cells called hepatic myofibroblasts create scar tissue, and secrete proteins which prevent it being broken down.
In healthy liver tissue the scars eventually melt away and are replaced by new normal tissue.
However, in diseased tissue this process does not happen. Instead the scar tissue proliferates, and spreads throughout the whole organ.
The Newcastle team showed that Sulphasalazine could aid recovery by blocking the production of proteins that keep the scar tissue cells alive.
They plan to carry out trials in humans, but already believe the drug has the potential to provide an alternative to a liver transplant.
The drug will initially be given to heavy drinkers who have given up alcohol, but too late for their liver to recover naturally.
If this proves successful, the medicine will also be prescribed to alcoholics who continue to drink but show a determination to fight their addiction by reducing their intake.
Professor Derek Mann, who led the research, said just a 5% to 10% recovery of the organ could have a huge impact on quality of life.
Professor Chris Day, head of Newcastle University's School of Clinical Medical Sciences, said the drug was likely to work best on people who had made some effort to kick their boozing habit.
But he said it offered a potential solution to the tricky ethical problem of offering people who abused alcohol a liver transplant.
Many people believe it is wrong to use organs that are in very short supply on people who have not demonstrated their ability to reform their drinking.
Professor David Jones, another member of the Newcastle liver team, said he and his colleagues regularly saw patients in their twenties with severe liver disease.
He said: "There is no point at which an alcoholic patient won't benefit from stopping drinking, but now we can actually help the healing process."
Anne Jenkins, of the charity Alcohol Concern, said: "The last 20 years have seen a significant increase in rates of liver cirrhosis, particularly among the 34-45 age group.
"Research that could help to reverse harm is obviously to be welcomed, but this work is at an early stage, and more needs to be done."
09-26-06, 04:03 PM #2GrasshopperVerified LEO
- Join Date
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Great. Now I don't have to worry about being an alcoholic because of my dispatchers.And Shepards we shall be,
for thee, My Lord, for thee,
Power hath descended forth from Thy hand,
That our feet may swiftly carry out Thy Command.
So we shall flow a river forth to Thee
And teeming with souls will it ever be.
In Nomine Patris, Et Filli, Et Spiritus Sancti.
09-26-06, 04:05 PM #3
That's good news! I'll have a drink to celebrate.
09-27-06, 12:18 AM #4
My liver's in too good a shape to qualify for this program yet. Let me get to work on that RIGHT NOW!!!
\_/ \_/ \_/ \_/ \_/ \_/ \_/ \_/ \_/ \_/ \_/ \_/ \_/ \_/ \_/ \_/ \_/ \_/ \_/ \_/ \_/\_/ \_/ \_/ \_/ \_/ \_/ \_/ \_/ \_/"My motivation is slipping, people bug me, and I'm tired of wasting my time on drivel."
- Rep. Otis Pike (D - NY)
09-27-06, 10:09 AM #5
hmmm works on arthritis and irritable bowel as well, can drink more........and can take pain killers etc with it....lol sounds like a good drug.....hmmm wait.....causes your urine and sweat to turn orange......can't wear contacts or will discolor them.......guess if you use it can say you sweat orange cause of all the oj you drink??? As will all drugs......can cause bad side effects.....and they suggest a blood test once a month??? geezAny Post I make is my opinion only!
I do not have the authority or the permission to post for my Sheriff's Office.
09-27-06, 10:25 AM #6
I thought Term was spamming his own forum for a second
09-27-06, 01:42 PM #7
09-27-06, 01:55 PM #8
EnLaRGE YoUR Pe niS!!!!!!!11111111
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