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Blood protein may be 'liver damage indicator'

Blood protein may be 'liver damage indicator'
21st September 2010

Doctors may soon be able to assess the liver damage of those in care homes, following a new discovery.

UK researchers from the University of Liverpool have discovered the existence of specific proteins in the blood that can indicate liver cell damage, in addition to when the damage occurred and the extent of its impact.

They found that just a small overdose of paracetamol resulted in the proteins HMGB1 and keratin 18 being released.

Pharmacologist and researcher Dr Dominic Williams explained: "The findings are significant because knowing how the cells die will allow development of medicines to help them survive, and may also distinguish patients who have severe injury and require intensive care from those who have mild injury."

Researchers at the New York Presbyterian Hospital suggests that vitamin E could be effective for treating non-alcoholic steatohepatitis - a form of liver disease associated with obesity.

As of yet, there is no established treatment for this condition.

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