Towards a new treatment for fatty liver disease

Deborah Paola Naon


    Deborah Paola Naon


    Institut de Recerca Biomèdica de Barcelona (IRB Barcelona), Spain


    Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a chronic liver disease caused by a build-up of fat in the liver cells. It affects 1 in 4 people worldwide and its prevalence is increasing in the developed countries. NAFLD also progresses to severe liver pathologies such as fibrosis, cirrhosis and, ultimately, liver cancer and is considered a major public health problem in the developed countries.

    Its occurrence is often linked to obesity and lifestyle, as well as to ageing. To date, no pharmacological treatments have been developed for this condition, so specialists usually recommend lifestyle and dietary changes to patients, and administer drugs for co-morbidities such as diabetes and hypertension, or compounds combined with specific anti-diabetic and antioxidant molecules. However, these treatments have limited effect.

    The researchers in this project focus on a new course of action. The molecule they are developing could become a first-line therapy to effectively treat advanced forms of fatty liver disease and improve patients' quality of life.