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Mayo Clinic Seeks New Therapies for Alcoholic Hepatitis
Date:12/1/2008

Abstinence is still the best policy

ROCHESTER, Minn., Dec. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new study from Mayo Clinic finds the use of the drug therapy etanercept ineffective in treating alcoholic hepatitis, an acute inflammation of the liver caused by excessive consumption of alcohol. The results of the study are published in the December issue of Gastroenterology (http://www.gastrojournal.org/).

VIDEO ALERT: Additional audio and video resources, including excerpts from an interview with Dr. Shah describing the research, are available on the Mayo Clinic News Blog (http://newsblog.mayoclinic.org/2008/11/24/alcoholic-hepatitis-abstinence-is-still-the-best-policy/), with password: h82a7q.

Alcoholic hepatitis is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Severe alcohol-related liver disease carries a poor prognosis. Several research studies have worked to find a successful treatment for alcoholic hepatitis, but no consensus has been reached on the most effective treatment regimen.

"Alcohol usage has long been associated with serious liver diseases such as hepatitis," says Vijay Shah, M.D. (http://www.mayoclinic.org/bio/11251794.html), a Mayo Clinic hepatologist and lead researcher on the study. "The relationship between drinking and alcoholic hepatitis is complex. Not all heavy drinkers develop alcoholic hepatitis, and the disease can sometimes occur in peop
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