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DiabetesIndia 2022: What Future Treatments are on the Horizon for NAFLD?

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Dr Shalini Jaggi, New Delhi    16 December 2022

  • One in five individuals globally are estimated to have nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
  • Its prevalence is strongly associated with obesity and metabolic disorders; however, evidence is mounting occurrence among nonobese individuals.
  • Whilst bland steatosis itself is not harmful, it lays the foundation for the development of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
  • The complex and heterogeneous nature of NAFLD challenges the quest to find the holy grail of treatments.
  • So far treatments are generally aimed at directly ameliorating either one of the hallmark characteristics driving NAFLD (steatosis, inflammation and fibrosis) or the gut microbiome.
  • The NAFLD treatment landscape is rapidly evolving as a consequence of our growing understanding of its underpinning mechanisms.
  • Treatments aimed at ameliorating not one, but multiple, features of the condition hold great promise.
  • Several treatments have been tested in clinical trials, and whilst some promising results have been obtained, most have failed to deliver the desired outcome.
  • Increasing appreciation of the heterogeneity of NAFLD will enable us to develop more personalized therapies. Whilst the holy grail has not yet been found; step by step, its quest is ongoing and getting closer to the discovery of successful NAFLD treatments.

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