It seems that we may be able to have our cake and eat it too. A study has discovered a way for people with bad livers as a result of alcohol abuse to live longer than they should.
Although there may not be a solution to liver disease, it seems that there may be a way for people, plagued with the ailment, to live normal lives. Researchers from University College San Francisco have figured out how to convert ruined cells due to alcohol into good cells.
Although the process has just begun, it has the future potential to extend the lives of people living with liver disease, and hopefully obliterate the need for transplants. The new experiment is focused on the gradual scarring of the liver, which is known as liver fibrosis.
It is an effect of a shortage in cells being able to recreate themselves quick enough to fight the effects of alcohol or other ailments like hepatitis C or obesity. This creates patches on livers of those living with the condition and ultimately leads to failure.
The liver may still thrive, but once its efficiency drops below 20 per cent, victims of the disease can be given a verdict of two years. However, the liver is great at renewing itself.
What these researchers hope to do and have found how to do is take patches of liver tissue and make them into new healthy cells, which can ultimately extend the capacity of the liver’s function.
But here comes the interesting part. The researchers are going to do it with the use of a virus. The scientists have discovered an adeno-associated virus, which can influence the patches. Infusing the viruses with a renewing mixture, they turned the bad patches into efficient liver cells.