NIH Launches New LiverTox Database
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has released LiverTox, a searchable, evidence-based database of prescription and over-the-counter medications with information about drug-induced liver injury. The database is a free source of information for health care professionals and researchers. An interactive section allows users to report cases of drug-induced liver injury, which will automatically be forwarded to the Food and Drug Administration’s MedWatch program.
Drug-induced liver injury is the leading cause of acute liver failure in the United States, accounting for at least half of cases. “Because drug-induced liver disease is not a single, common disease, it is very difficult to diagnose, with each drug causing a somewhat different pattern of liver damage,” said Jay H. Hoofnagle, M.D., the major creator of LiverTox and director of the Liver Disease Research Branch at the NIH’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).
Researchers Find New Genes Related to IBD
NIH-funded researchers from the United States, Canada, and Europe identified 71 new human genes associated with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, two chronic inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). The study was funded in part by the NIDDK IBD Genetics Consortium. The results were published in the Nov. 1 issue of the journal Nature.
Researchers believe that new approaches such as systems biology may provide a more complete picture of the genetic pathways involved with IBD and potentially lead to the development of more targeted treatments.
NIH Scientists Move Closer to Predicting Hepatitis C Severity
Image courtesy of the
Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention
Researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases hope to continue to study genetic and blood serum markers in a larger number of people infected with hepatitis C.
Task Force on Colorectal Cancer Issues New Surveillance Guidelines
People at average risk of colorectal cancer who have a clean colonoscopy do not need to repeat the test for 10 years. This is one of the surveillance guidelines released by the U.S. Multisociety Task Force on Colorectal Cancer in 2012. The task force is a nongovernmental entity that comprises representatives of the American College of Gastroenterology, the American Gastroenterological Association, and the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.
The 2006 task force guidelines provided a framework for screening, surveillance, and prevention of colorectal cancer based on the histology and number of polyps detected at the baseline examination. The current guidelines are based on new evidence that endorses and strengthens the 2006 recommendations.
- Barrett's Esophagus
- Biliary Atresia
- Fecal Incontinence
- Foodborne Illnesses
- Gas in the Digestive Tract
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Children
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome: What You Need to Know
- What I need to know about Bowel Control
- What I need to know about Hepatitis A
- What I need to know about Hepatitis B
- What I need to know about Hepatitis C
- What I need to know about Lactose Intolerance (Spanish)
Previous Issues of Digestive Diseases Research and News
NIH Study to Test Treatment for Fatty Liver Disease in Children
NIH-funded scientists have launched a new clinical trial called Cysteamine Bitartrate Delayed-Release for the Treatment of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease in Children (CyNCh). The trial will enroll 150 boys and girls ages 8 to 17 with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, in an effort to find a safe and effective treatment that helps children with fatty liver disease. The participants will receive cysteamine or placebo by mouth twice a day for a year. There are no weight cutoffs or percentiles for the children participating in CyNCh. However, more than 90 percent of the children are expected to be overweight or obese. Children with poorly managed diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic liver diseases will be excluded.
Combination Antiviral Therapy is More Effective for Pediatric Chronic Hepatitis C
A clinical trial has shown that combination therapy with peginterferon and ribavirin is more effective than therapy with peginterferon and placebo in treating chronic hepatitis C in children and adolescents. This trial was conducted at 11 sites throughout the United States. Recent US census results show that 23,048 to 42,296 children are chronically infected with the hepatitis C virus. Eradication of the virus in an infected child has the dual benefits of eliminating social stigma as well as the progression of liver disease.
Functioning Bioengineered Anal Sphincters Implanted in Mice
Building on research that may have implications for future treatment for fecal incontinence, scientists have successfully implanted a physiologically functional bioengineered internal anal sphincter (IAS) in mice. The IAS is a ring-like muscle located just inside the rectum; along with the external anal sphincter, these two muscles keep the anus closed and maintain fecal continence. Loss of IAS muscle tone is a primary cause for the uncontrolled release of stool that occurs in people with fecal incontinence, a condition that places devastating emotional, social, physical, and economic burdens on people who are affected by it.
Page last updated February 15, 2013