Hepatitis C is really a serious disease, nevertheless the biggest threat to someone’s health just isn’t the herpes virus itself. Rather, it’s the diseases that can be a consequence of it such as for instance reduced liver functioning, scarring in the liver and cirrhosis potentially. A new study implies that the antiviral treatment that has been used to fight the illness during the last five years, helps enhance the complications which follow also.
“It’s really great news, because the treatment works well on all patients with hepatitis C almost, but the undeniable fact that it works against complications is a new comer to us also. And this is vital for this number of patients absolutely, simply because they don’t die from the hepatitis C virus, in worst case scenarios, from the diseases that chronic liver damage can cause,” says Tea Lund Laursen, PhD student at the Department of Clinical Medicine at Aarhus University.
The results have already been published in the scientific journal Journal of Viral Hepatitis just.
It could take 20-30 years from being infected with hepatitis C before symptoms are experienced by way of a person. Through that period the liver inflammation becomes chronic in the most common of patients and serious damage develops.
“With the study, we realize that although the patients find the disease late now, the newest treatment gives them good odds of an even more positive prognosis. Mainly because the liver is on the mend once they become free of herpes,” says Tea Lund Laursen.
The researchers followed 71 patients with chronic liver inflammation before, after and during treatment. The scholarly studies showed that the inflammation within their liver diminished, that there clearly was less scarring, and that the liver improved its power to breakdown various substances. At precisely the same time, the researchers could measure that the patients reacted quicker to sounds than prior to the treatment was begun by them.
“Chronic liver inflammation also can cause cognitive problems where patients become tired, have poorer memory and reduced response times. Year following the 12 week treatment course but we’re able to also see a marked improvement in reaction times one. We therefore expect this to function as the case for one other cognitive functions also,” says Tea Lund Laursen.
Major perspectives in antiviral treatment
The Danish Medicines and Health Authority estimates that approx. 17,000 individuals are infected with hepatitis C in Denmark and that around 1 / 2 of them aren’t known in the healthcare system. A large proportion have now been infected by sharing syringes. They include both former and current drug abusers and individuals who demonstrated high-risk behaviour inside their youth 30-40 years back — with most of them unaware they are infected.
“If individuals in the danger category contacted the healthcare system, we’d manage to save or increase the full lives of a lot of people, and also just about eradicate hepatitis C in Denmark ultimately,” says Tea Lund Laursen.
While how many individuals with the infection is relatively limited in Denmark, hepatitis C is just a significant problem with approx globally. 160 million people infected. The illness is widespread in many West African countries particularly, Greenland and russia.