Current and novel therapies for the treatment of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis
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- van der Poorten, D. & George, J. Hepatol Int (2007) 1: 343. doi:10.1007/s12072-007-9011-8
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The worldwide epidemic of obesity and the metabolic syndrome has made nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), one of the most important liver diseases of our time. NAFLD is now the commonest cause of abnormal liver test results in industrialized countries and its incidence is rising. The current treatment of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) has focused on lifestyle modification to achieve weight loss and modification of risk factors, such as insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, and hyperglycemia associated with the metabolic syndrome. With our increasing understanding of the pathogenesis of NASH, have come a plethora of new pharmacologic options with great potential to modify the natural history of NAFLD and NASH. This article focuses on a number of novel molecular targets for the treatment of NASH as well as the evidence for currently available therapy. It should be noted, however, that in part because of the long natural history of NASH and NAFLD, no therapy to date has been shown to unequivocally alter liver-related morbidity and mortality in these patients.