Learning How The Liver Regenerates Itself Can Aid With Treatment
Good news for liver disease research initiatives! A study conducting recently has revealed additional information around how the liver regenerates and repairs itself, leading to potential new groundbreaking treatments around liver disease.
The liver filters blood, which flows from the digestive system that manufactures proteins and detoxifies chemicals vital to assist with blood clot. As the body’s largest solid organ, it can be quite resilient; however, when it metabolizes toxins (like alcohol), the liver can experience damage. Having said that, it can still function and regenerate. It is when liver cell damage takes its toll over time that the organ’s functions begin to decline and then fail.
New research has emerged via a study conducted at the University of Illinois where a team has found the exact process around how liver cells that are damaged repair themselves. This could lead to tremendous progress when it comes to liver disease and future treatments.
Auinash Kalsotra, Professor, biochemistry department, University of Illinois, chimed in on the research stating that they know that cells in a healthy adult liver are dormant and don’t usually go through the cell division process. Kalsotra noted that if there is damage to the liver, cells re-enter a cycle where they divide and produce additional cells.
The research team looked further into what was happening at the molecular level within a liver that is damaged, and found that when the organ deals with injury, cells do regenerate at this same time, while the liver still has the ability to perform normal functions.
The study team therefore discovered liver cells that were damaged go through a “reprogramming” process sorts, where cells become “new” again.
It’s important to note, that the liver has no machine assistance that can replace the organ or its function. When it becomes too damage to regenerate or partake in normal activities, a liver transplant is generally required.
As such, and with most conditions, addressing liver issues during the early stages of distress is the best way to prevent damage that is irreversible.
What signs and symptoms are associated with the disease to ensure you follow up with your doctor as soon as you notice something? Below is an outline:
- Enlarged spleen
- Swelling and pain of the abdomen and legs, resulting in a buildup of fluid
- A patient’s skin will experience itchiness
- Bleeding from the stomach and esophagus
- Blood vessels on the chest and face that look spider-like
- Jaundice occurs, a yellowish discoloration of the skin and whites of a person’s eyes
The silver-lining in all this is that damaged cells can regenerate and repair themselves, until this gets far too overwhelming and the organ begins to fail. With this study, bring hope that additional treatment options can surface to help tackle this terrible disease for future generations.