A groundbreaking study led by the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) involving nearly 2,300 extremely obese diabetes patients, has identified genes associated with unhealthy liver function. This is believed to be the nation's first large-scale genome-wide association study in overweight patients with diabetes. Results of the study, done in conjunction with the Geisinger Health System, will be presented at the 64th annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases Nov. 1-5 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. The study — Genome-wide analysis identifies loci associated with total bilirubin levels, steatosis, and mild fibrosis in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease — looked at how genomic factors affect the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. It was selected for presentation from among a record 3,139 submittals from around the world proposed for what also is known as The Liver Meeting 2013. "These genetic factors could help us identify patients who are most at risk of developing non-alcoholic forms of fatty-liver disease (NAFLD), and which patients may be more likely to progress to severe forms of NAFLD, such as steatohepatitis (NASH)," said Dr. Johanna DiStefano, the study's principal investigator and lead author. Dr. DiStefano is Director of TGen's Diabetes, Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases Division. NAFLD is the build up of extra fat in liver cells, not caused by alcohol. It is one of the most common causes of chronic liver disease. NASH is liver inflammation and damage caused by a buildup of fat in the liver, not caused by alcohol. "Our results showed evidence for new genetic loci that may play a role in the biological mechanisms of NAFLD and NASH," said Dr. Glenn S. Gerhard, a faculty member of the Geisinger Obesity Institute and a co-investigator of the study. "We discovered genes that may help identify those patients most at risk for the types of liver disease so severe that they could require transplants," said Dr. Gerhard, Administrative Director for the Institute for Personalized Medicine at Penn State University-Hershey. Patients included in this study were those with extreme obesity enrolled in a bariatric surgery program. The study identified evidence for association with markers in the neurocan gene (NCAN) on chromosome 19p12, and rs2501843 on chromosome 1. Source: Eurekalert << Mom's Weight Gain During Pregnancy Increases Risk of Childho... Body Contouring Procedure Improves Long-term Weight Control ... >> Recommended Reading Diabetes Risk Assessment Calculator Almost one-third of the people are unaware of the risk factors of diabetes. Find out if you run the risk of diabetes by using Diabetes Risk Assessment calculator. READ MORE Blood Sugar-Conversion Our easy to use blood sugar calculator helps you to get your blood sugar conversion results either in mg/dl used by the American system or in mmol/l used by the British system, which is accepted worldwide. READ MORE Current Treatments for Liver Cancer Current Treatments for Liver Cancer (also known as hepatoma or hepatocellular carcinoma) can result in complete cure of the disease if it is detected early. READ MORE Fatty Liver Disease: A Growing Health Problem in India Non alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the leading cause of liver dysfunction worldwide and is a rapidly growing health problem in India. READ MORE Hepatitis A Hepatitis A is the most benign of the hepatitis viruses and usually has no long term side effects. Hepatitis A vaccine is available that is 95% effective in preventing the disease. READ MORE Living Donor Liver Transplant: What Are the Risks? The risk of dying as a result of a living donor liver segment removal is between 0.2-2.0%. The risk of morbidity is anywhere between 1.3% (in highly experienced centers) to 60%. READ MORE Milk Thistle Milk Thistle is a resourceful natural plant which has many medicinal benefits. In herbal medication milk thistle is used in cases of liver diseases. READ MORE Weaver Syndrome Weaver syndrome is a genetic disorder in which children show accelerated bone growth, advanced bone age and a characteristic appearance of the face. READ MORE Wilson's Disease This is a rare inherited systemic disorder of copper metabolism, affecting the liver mainly before other organs. READ MORE Most Popular on Medindia Drug - Food Interactions Iron Intake Calculator Fongitar (Zinc Pyrithionone) More News on: Hepatitis ALiverWilson's DiseaseWeaver SyndromeMilk ThistleCurrent Treatments for Liver CancerFatty Liver Disease: A Growing Health Problem in IndiaLiving Donor Liver Transplant: What Are the Risks?