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Science Hub

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Non-alcoholic hepatosteatosis (NASH) is a serious chronic disease that is becoming increasingly prevalent1;2. Highlighting the interrelated links3 between NASH and other metabolic diseases3, around two thirds1 of those living with type 2 diabetes are believed to also have NASH, and many have obesity as well. NASH is a progressed stage of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

 

At the moment, NASH is without effective pharmacotherapeutic interventions4 and to make matters worse, timely diagnosis of the disease has traditionally been exceedingly difficult due to the lack of non-invasive tests such as blood-based biomarkers. Thus, at clinical debut, people with NASH frequently present2 with wide-spread hepatosteatosis and reduced liver function due to fibrosis or even cirrhosis. Severe outcomes also include liver failure, liver cancer and cardiovascular disease.

 

Novo Nordisk is heavily invested in improving the diagnosis and treatment of NASH. We have multiple ongoing efforts to identify validated biomarkers and to test potential therapies such as semaglutide (GLP-1 RA) alone or in combination with FGF-21 or other compounds. Working closely with our peers and partners, we also contribute to relevant liver-focused consortia and collaborate with academic groups on translational endeavours. 

 

Thankfully, new advances in the understanding of how to best diagnose and ameliorate NASH are continuously reported. We welcome you to use the NASH area of ScienceHub to stay updated on relevant articles and congresses. Below, we introduce a selection of recent publications and congresses that we invite you to explore, including the accompanying easy-to-approach audio-visual presentations. 

Microscopic photograph of a professionally prepared slide of liver tissue.  The liver is divided histologically into lobules. The center of the lobule is the central vein. At the periphery of the lobule are portal triads.   Liver parenchyma.  Lobule with  central vein. Reticulin stain

To get up to speed with the latest clinical knowledge of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), read this article in which Muthiah and colleagues focus on the early disease stages, the clinical features and the diagnostic approach, including needs for screening for at-risk individuals in a population. The article includes a narrated audio version.
liver cirrhosis cross section cut

In this article, Byrne and Targher discuss the complex interrelated links between non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)-related cardiovascular conditions from arrhythmias to heart failure. The review highlights the urgency of a multidisciplinary approach to address cardiometabolic risk in liver disease, including study of the effects of new drugs for NAFLD on the heart and vasculature. The article includes both a video abstract and a narrated audio version.
Weight loss interventions and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

Obesity and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) alongside diabetes are interlinked pathophysiologically and epidemiologically. This article by Nick Finer discusses how weight management appears to be the most effective way to address NAFLD and how such intervention should be prioritized in hepatology care. The article includes narrated video and audio versions.

As more and more studies of the associations between NAFLD, diabetes and obesity are reported, Bertrand Cariou provides an updated overview of the detailed insights into the multidirectional links between the diseases. These insights may help the development of agents that target the interrelated metabolic derangements of these diseases to ultimately provide an effective treatment for NASH.

1.

Dufour, J-F et al. Endocrine and Metabolic Science 3:10089 (2021)

2.

Brunt, E. et al. Nat Rev Dis Primers 1, 15080 (2015)

3.

Targher, G. et al. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol 18, 599–612 (2021)

4.

Vuppalanchi, R. et al. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol 18, 373–392 (2021)