Kenny Walter is an editor with HCPLive. Prior to joining MJH Life Sciences in 2019, he worked as a digital reporter covering nanotechnology, life sciences, material science and more with R&D Magazine. He graduated with a degree in journalism from Temple University in 2008 and began his career as a local reporter for a chain of weekly newspapers based on the Jersey shore. When not working, he enjoys going to the beach and enjoying the shore in the summer and watching North Carolina Tar Heel basketball in the winter.
NASH and NAFLD are notoriously difficult to treat conditions.
Liver diseases such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) are very difficult to treat, with very few options available for patients.
While this is a challenge, recently researchers have begun to have some hope that new treatments are on the horizon.
One of the reasons new treatments are needed is that opioid use can be high in this patient population, particularly patients suffering from NAFLD.
As part of the ongoing TARGET-NASH study, investigators have discovered that 18% of NAFLD patients are prescribed opioids to treat the pain related to their condition and the rate of opioid use is more common in patients with cirrhosis, higher body mass indexes (BMI), and comorbid psychiatric disorders.
In an interview with HCPLIve®, Andrew Moon, MD, MPH, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, why it is so difficult to treat diseases like NAFLD and NASH.
Moon said eventually he would like to see more personalized and precision medicine in hepatology in order to provide better care for patients.
While it is unknown whether better treatments will ultimately result in a decrease in opioid use for these patients, Moon is hopeful that would be the end result.