Clinical Trials Archives - AZ Clinical Trials

ALH_Facebook_Blog_HepatitisC_05MAY2022_JS-1-1.jpg

Hepatitis C is a liver infection from the hepatitis C virus (HCV). For some people, HCV causes short-term illness. However, for more than half, it becomes a long-term, chronic infection that can result in severe and life-threatening health problems. Liver diseases like hepatitis C progressively damage the liver over many years without notice. Learning about how it affects the liver and ways you can prevent and manage it are the best possible steps to fight it.

hepatitis words

How HCV Affects the Liver

The hepatitis C virus spreads by coming into contact with an infected person’s blood. Hepatitis C can cause an acute or chronic infection:

  • Acute hepatitis C
    • Acute hepatitis C is a short-term infection where symptoms can last up to 6 months. In some cases, the body can sometimes fight off the infection, and the virus goes away.
  • Chronic hepatitis C
    • Chronic hepatitis C occurs when the body cannot fight off the virus, resulting in a long-lasting infection. Around 75 to 85 percent of people with acute hepatitis C will develop chronic hepatitis C.

Abdominal pain-HepC

Symptoms of hepatitis C include:

  • Dark yellow urine
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Gray-colored stools
  • Pain in the joints
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Yellowing of the whites of the eyes and skin

Hepatitis means “inflammation of the liver” from infection, autoimmune disorder, or other factors. Regardless of the cause, these events trigger the body’s healing response, which rushes oxygen-rich blood, vital nutrients, and other special repair cells to the liver to heal it. We know of this process as inflammation. Most people with HCV have no idea they have it, so nothing is done to suppress or treat the infection.

Without treatment, the healing response continues trying to repair the liver. Over time, chronic inflammation and excess repair materials like collagen begin to damage and scar the liver. HCV can cause cirrhosis, liver cancer, and liver failure.

Managing Hepatitis C

The World Health Organization (WHO) states that antiviral medicines can cure more than 95% of persons with hepatitis C infection. You can help keep your liver healthy by eating healthy, staying active, and kicking the habits that harm your health.

Remember, most people with HCV don’t know it, so understanding the risk factors can help with early diagnosis and prevention.

Risk factors for HCV:

  • Healthcare workers exposed to infected blood
  • History or a current user of injected or inhaled illicit drugs
  • Diagnosed with HIV
  • Have tattoos or body piercings
  • Underwent a blood transfusion or organ transplant before 1992
  • Were treated with clotting factor concentrates before 1987
  • If your mother had a hepatitis C infection when you were born
  • If you ever worked or lived in prison
  • Have been on kidney dialysis

Liver disease can lead to hepatitis

Arizona Liver Health has a new hepatitis C study starting soon. To learn more, call us today at (480) 470-4000.

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hcv/index.htm

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hepatitis-c/symptoms-causes/syc-20354278

https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/liver-disease/viral-hepatitis/hepatitis-c


ALH_Facebook_Bog-2-Effects-of-Alcohol_08APR2022_AW-1.jpg

Alcohol is one of the most widely used substances among America’s adult and teen populations, posing substantial health and safety risks. Even though most know the adverse effects of alcohol, many tend to do so without fully recognizing the health risks of consuming alcohol excessively. The liver is one of the essential organs in the body, and when it comes to alcohol, it can have devastating effects.

Your liver detoxifies your body, keeps you alert, and regulates your hormones

The Metabolization of Alcohol

On average, it takes the body about an hour to process one alcoholic beverage. Every additional drink increased that time frame. The more a person drinks, the longer it takes to process alcohol. That’s because the liver can only process so much at a time. When someone drinks too much, the alcohol left unprocessed by the liver circulates through the bloodstream and starts affecting the heart and brain. This is how people become intoxicated. Two liver enzymes begin to break apart the alcohol molecule so it the body can eventually eliminate them.

Woman on the floor with empty alcohol bottles

Alcohol’s Destruction

One of those enzymes, ADH, helps convert alcohol to acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde is only in the body for a short time, but it is highly toxic and a known carcinogen. Some small amounts of alcohol are also eliminated from the body by forming fatty acid compounds. These compounds can damage the liver and pancreas.

The toxic effects of acetaldehyde have been linked to the development of cancers of the:

  • Mouth
  • Throat
  • Upper respiratory tract
  • Liver
  • Colon
  • Breasts

Chronic alcohol abuse (drinking 4 or 5 drinks in a row regularly) also destroys liver cells, which progress from fatty liver to alcoholic hepatitis (inflammation) to cirrhosis (scarring). However, heavy drinkers may develop alcoholic cirrhosis without first developing hepatitis.

Is There a Safe Amount of Alcohol?

While there is no safe amount of alcohol you can consume, you can reduce your risk of liver damage by drinking less. Individuals can drink in moderation by limiting intake to 2 drinks or less in a day for men or one drink or less for women.

The purpose of a fibroscan

Does the health of your liver concern you? Arizona Liver Health offers a FREE fibroscan for adults at risk of liver disease. To learn more, call (480) 470-4000 or request an appointment online today!

Sources:

https://www.verywellmind.com/alcohol-metabolism-key-to-alcohols-dangers-66524

https://www.addictioncenter.com/alcohol/liver/


ALH_Facebook_Blog-1-Minority-Participation_01APR2022_AW-1.jpg

April is National Minority Health Month (NMHM), a time to raise awareness about health disparities that affect people from racial and ethnic minority groups. Liver disease is growing in prevalence in the Hispanic population. It is also a leading cause of death in the U.S. Through education, we can lower the risk. Through participation, we can expand treatment options. These are some of the reasons minority participation in liver research matters.

Why Minorities Should Participate in Research

Diversity is vital in research because understanding how a condition affects different populations helps design safe, more effective treatments. Diversity is not just race and ethnicity but also gender, age, etc. Participants in clinical trials should represent the patient populations that will use the medical products. The reason is that people of different ages, races, and ethnicities may react differently to medical treatments.

Hispanics and Liver Disease

Hispanic middle aged couple preparing a meal

The most prevalent liver diseases in Hispanics are non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), chronic hepatitis C, alcoholic liver disease, cirrhosis, and liver cancer. The risk factors for these conditions include:

  • Obesity
  • Inactive lifestyle
  • Poor diet
  • Metabolic syndrome

7 symptoms of liver problems

When you look at the prevalence of these risk factors in Hispanics in the U.S., the results are:

  • 43% of Hispanics are considered obese
  • 35% of Hispanics have metabolic syndrome
  • Hispanic diets are traditionally high in carbohydrates and added sugars

In addition, many Hispanics in the U.S. possess a gene variation, PNPLA3, which has an association with a heightened risk for NAFLD and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).

Liver Health is in Our Name!

Implementing the best education practices toward healthy lifestyle changes will help address the risks associated with cultural aspects. However, we need to do more work regarding the genetic predisposition and expanding treatments for individuals already living with liver disease. Why not trust the experts with “liver health” in their name when it comes to liver disease? For NMHM, consider giving back through research.

1 in 4 adults are living with liver disease

Arizona Liver Health offers FREE fibroscans to adults at risk of liver disease and a chance to help advance care options for liver diseases through our studies. Get involved today! Contact us at (480) 470-4000 to learn more about your liver and options for treatment of liver disease, or visit our website.

Sources:

https://txliver.com/media/hispanics-and-liver-disease/

https://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/omh/browse.aspx?lvl=4&lvlid=62#:~:text=Both%20Hispanic%20men%20and%20women,their%20non%2DHispanic%20white%20counterparts.

https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/AZ


ALH_Facebook_American-Heart-Month_08FEB2022_RD-1.jpg

When we think of hearts, we think of Valentine’s Day and the exchange of cards and unique trinkets shared with our family and friends. February is also American Heart Month which creates awareness about heart disease, the number one cause of death in the U.S. Every cell and organ in your body relies on a healthy cardiovascular system. So, while you’re spreading the love this month, make sure some of it’s for yourself. When you love your heart, you love your liver and overall health too.

The Heart and the Liver

The circulatory system and the heart work together to form the cardiovascular system. The heart pushes the blood through the lungs to add oxygen to it. Along with other nutrients, the oxygen-rich blood is pumped through veins and arteries to all the body’s cells and organs, which is necessary for them to function.

The Liver has hundreds of vital functions and is the only organ with two separate blood supplies. One brings blood from the heart; the other brings blood from the intestines to filter it. The liver receives up to 25% of blood from the cardiovascular system.

The liver performs over 500 vital functions

How They Impact Each Other

Heart disease is a term for various conditions affecting heart structure and function. For example, coronary artery disease, the most common condition, causes narrowing or complete blockage of the veins and arteries in your heart from cholesterol or plaque. This makes it difficult for blood to reach the rest of the body and the heart itself. Decreased blood flow can cause liver cells’ death, which makes it harder to function. Eventually, the liver becomes permanently scarred, ultimately leading to cirrhosis.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is where an abnormal amount of fat accumulates in the liver. It is one of the most common liver diseases in America. NAFLD leads to chronic inflammation of the liver that progressively damages and scars the liver, leading to cirrhosis. A compromised liver affects the heart in many ways, including:

  • Narrowing, enlarging, and other damage of the blood vessels from not effectively filtering the toxins from the blood.
  • Increased blood pressure as the liver struggles to keep up with the flow from the heart. High blood pressure can damage and weaken the heart.

The risk factors shared for both conditions include obesity, poor diet, and lack of exercise.

Making Healthier Choices, Starting NOW

While liver and heart diseases have overlapping risk factors, most cases are preventable and respond to healthier lifestyle changes. Focusing on your health has never been more critical. During American Heart Month, we encourage every person to take the first steps towards a healthier life, including

  • Becoming more physically active
  • Eating a healthy, sensible diet low in sodium, sugar, and trans fats.
  • Adopting a good sleep hygiene routine ensures your body is getting enough rest.
  • Looking into smoking cessation programs to stop smoking.
  • Learning what you can do to reduce and manage stress better.

Visit the National Institutes of Health website for more information on weekly self-care ideas and other resources to help you get involved.

Loving your liver doesn't have to be hard

If you have NASH, participating in a research study is a great way to celebrate American Heart Month by prioritizing your health. To learn more about enrolling liver studies here at Arizona Liver Health, call us at (480) 470-4000 or visit our website today!

Sources:

https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/education/american-heart-month/about

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0002870300825077

https://eurjmedres.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/2047-783X-14-12-541


ALH_Facebook_Blog_Liver-Health_19JAN2022_RD-1.jpg

You can start this year on the right foot by taking proactive steps for your health and well-being. If you’ve been diagnosed with liver disease, keeping your liver healthy is essential. It’s a new year, and it’s time to set some new liver health goals.

Fighting Liver Disease Starts with Prevention

Stages of liver disease

The best way to fight liver disease is to avoid it, if possible. However, the same tips that can help reduce your risk of liver disease can also help individuals already living with it reduce complications and promote disease progression (in a good way). These include:

  • Weight loss plays a vital role in helping reduce fat accumulation in the liver. If you’re overweight, you could be in danger of developing a fatty liver that can lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). NAFLD is one of the fastest-growing forms of liver disease.
  • Eat a sensible, well-balanced diet. Avoid high-calorie meals, saturated fat, refined carbohydrates, and sugars. Hydration is also essential, so drink plenty of water.

Healthy foods

  • Exercising consistently helps burn triglycerides for fuel and reduces fat accumulation in the liver.
  • Don’t smoke. Cigarette smoke and other toxins can injure liver cells.
  • Alcoholic beverages can create many health problems and can damage liver cells and scar your liver Talking to your doctor about what amount of alcohol is right for you can help you drink responsibly.
  • Taking medications incorrectly can harm your liver. Make sure to follow directions on all medications. Never take more than prescribed or mix them with alcohol.

Dedicated to Liver Health

A happy liver for a better you

If you are at risk or have been diagnosed with liver disease, Arizona Liver Health has resources to help. To learn more about our FREE liver scans or our enrolling liver health research studies, call us today at (480) 470-4000 or visit our website.

Sources:

https://www.hepmag.com/blog/10-proactive-steps-help-liver

https://liverfoundation.org/13-ways-to-a-healthy-liver/


ALH_Facebook_Blog-1-COVID-Omicron_05JAN2022_AW-1.png

At this point in the COVID-19 pandemic, it feels like we are navigating the different levels of a video game. Except this isn’t a video game, this is real life amid the COVID-19 pandemic. When vaccines drove the infection rates down, up popped the Delta variant. Now, the COVID-19 variant Omicron is spreading at lightning speed.

Why and How Viruses Mutate

Viruses are constantly making copies of themselves to reproduce. Over time, random changes (mutations) occur in the copies. Most times, these mutations are so small that there’s no change in how the virus behaves. If enough mutations arise, a new variation or strain of the virus can emerge.

Omicron

As we are barely gaining ground on COVID-19 two years later, it’s understandable our knowledge of Omicron is minimal. We don’t yet know:

  • How easily it spreads
  • The severity of illness it causes
  • How well available vaccines and medications work against it

Based on the changed genetic makeup and initial observations reported in those infected, the CDC lists the following information about Omicron:

  • The Omicron variant likely will spread more quickly than the original SARS-CoV-2 virus.
  • Anyone with Omicron infection can spread the virus to others, even if they are vaccinated or don’t have symptoms.
  • Some treatments are likely to remain effective, while others may be less effective.

Vaccinate, Get Your Booster, and Join the Fight to End COVID-19

Scientists and health officials expect that current vaccines will continue to protect against severe illness, hospitalizations, and deaths due to infection with the Omicron variant. However, it’s still possible for breakthrough infections to occur in fully vaccinated people. Vaccines have remained effective in preventing severe disease, hospitalization, and death with other variants like Delta. The emergence of Omicron further emphasizes the importance of vaccination and boosters.

COVID-19 Scare?

Arizona Clinical Trials offers COVID-19 resources through our clinical trials. Explore your options today! Visit our website to complete the application to see if you qualify.


ALH_Facebook_NAFLD_17NOV2021_RD-1.jpg

November 29, 2021 Clinical ResearchNAFLD0

In the medical world, we are always trying to find new ways to treat all kinds of conditions. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD, is a condition that we are constantly learning more about, especially in the work of clinical research. NAFLD has emerged as the most prominent cause of chronic liver disease. So what’s new in NAFLD research? Let’s find out!

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT!

NAFLD researchers are urging the public to take care of themselves by declaring NAFLD as a public health priority. They are realizing that the general public does not possess proper knowledge of NAFLD and they desire to change that. At the Digital NAFLD Summit 2021, researchers developed a final set of 37 consensus statements and 26 recommendations. The statements addressed a broad range of topics relevant to policymakers, practitioners, civil society groups, researchers, and affected populations. They hope that these recommendations can bring major change to NAFLD basic knowledge and prevention.

30% of adults have fatty liver

Who Has a Higher Risk of Getting NAFLD?

Anyone can develop NAFLD. Unfortunately, we don’t know everything about this condition. However, clinical research has provided a lot of information about who can get it or what causes fatty liver. We do know that it is more common for people that have the following factors:

  • Type 2 diabetes and prediabetes
  • Obesity
  • Middle-aged or older
  • Hispanic
  • High levels of fats in the blood
  • High blood pressure
  • Take certain drugs
  • Have certain metabolic disorders
  • Experienced rapid weight loss
  • Have certain infections, such as hepatitis C
  • Were exposed to toxins

NAFLD Treatment and Prevention

There is no medication or vaccine approved by the FDA to treat NAFLD. Fortunately, there are ways in which you can reduce or prevent fatty liver. Common suggestions from physicians include:

  • Losing weight
  • Get regular exercise
  • Eating a healthy diet that reduces salt and sugar intake
  • Get vaccinated for hepatitis A and B, the flu, and pneumococcal disease

NAFLD clinical research is so crucial today. We need clinical trials to develop treatments for NAFLD and you can help us. Participate in clinical trials to help the advancement in medicine for NAFLD. You can sign up for our current or upcoming studies by calling us at (480) 360-4000 or visiting our website.

Sources:

https://www.healio.com/news/hepatology/20210924/six-recent-reports-from-the-digital-nafld-summit-2021

https://www.healio.com/news/hepatology/20210917/researchers-deem-nafld-a-public-health-priority

https://easl.eu/press-release/treatment-advances-for-non-alcoholic-fatty-liver-disease-nafld-announced-at-ilc-2021/

https://atriumhealth.org/about-us/newsroom/news/2021/04/groundbreaking-clinical-trials-for-patients-with-nonalcoholic-fatty-liver-disease

https://medlineplus.gov/fattyliverdisease.html


ALH_Facebook_Blog-COVID19VaccineBooster_03NOV2021_AR-1.jpg

We are a little over a month away from the first anniversary of when the first COVID-19 vaccine dose was given. Over 15 million fully vaccinated Americans later, a lot has taken place in these last 11 months. Here’s the recap from vaccines to boosters in the fight to end COVID-19.

Vaccines, Efficacy, and Age Groups

In the U.S., there are three vaccines currently in circulation. Several others are still under evaluation in clinical trials. Let’s look at the latest efficacy reports and which age groups are approved to take them:

  • Pfizer- BioNTech : 2 doses, 21 days apart.
    • Approval Status: FDA approved in August 2021 for ages 16 and up. Emergency use authorization (EUA) for ages 5-15
    • Effectiveness: Full effectiveness 2 weeks after 2nd 91% effective at preventing COVID-19, and 89% effective in preventing severe disease.
    • Approved ages: Children and adults 5 and older
  • Moderna: 2 doses, 28 days apart.
    • Approval Status: Under EUA since December 2020.
    • Effectiveness: Full effectiveness 2 weeks after 2nd 94% effective at preventing COVID-19, and 90% effective in preventing severe disease.
    • Approved ages: Adults 18 and older.
  • Johnson & Johnson: Single dose.
    • Approval Status: Under EUA since February 2021.
    • Effectiveness: Full effectiveness 2 weeks after single dose. 66% effective at preventing COVID-19, and 85% effective in preventing severe disease.
    • Approved ages: Adults 18 and older.

Boosters

Being vaccinated is still possibly the most important way we can get past the COVID-19 pandemic. As more time passes, we continue to learn more about whether or not booster doses would be beneficial. It’s important to mention, boosters are not a new idea and do not mean anything is wrong with the vaccine. If vaccine immunity wanes after some time, a booster helps prolong protection. Several routine immunizations require booster doses, these include chickenpox, tetanus, diphtheria, and mumps.

The CDC recommends a booster dose of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine 6 months after the last dose for people 65 and up. In addition, it covers residents of long-term care settings, people 18 to 64 with underlying medical conditions, and those whose work may put them at higher risk of exposure to COVID-19. People with certain immunocompromising conditions can get a third dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines two months after completing their 2nd dose. CDC interim guidelines recommend moderately and severely immunocompromised people who received one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine get a second dose of either an mRNA or J&J vaccine at least two months after their initial shot.

Help Us End COVID-19

Take care of yourself and others

The fight to end COVID-19 is still ongoing. Here at Arizona Liver Health, we are looking for individuals to join COVID-19 studies looking into potential new options. We offer FREE COVID-19 testing and provide other study opportunities for healthy individuals and those diagnosed with COVID-19. Call us today to learn more at (480) 360-4000, or visit our website.

Sources:

https://www.yalemedicine.org/news/covid-19-vaccine-comparison


ALH_Facebook_Blog-Hepatic-Encephalopathy_20OCT2021_JS.jpg

Hepatic encephalopathy (HE) can develop when your liver can no longer remove toxic substances from your blood. The toxins build up and can travel through your body until they eventually reach your brain. This causes mental and physical symptoms of HE.

Why Does HE Develop?

Hepatic encephalopathy is a nervous system disorder brought on by severe liver disease. When the liver doesn’t work properly, toxins build up in the blood.  HE is a complication of cirrhosis– a severe form of liver disease. Common types of chronic liver disease can lead to liver scarring or even liver failure. These include:

  • Alcohol-related liver disease
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), or too much fat in liver cells
  • Inflammation of the liver (such as hepatitis A, B, or C)
  • Liver cancer

Living with untreated liver disease for a long time can lead to cirrhosis. Cirrhosis occurs when scar tissue replaces healthy liver tissue. As cirrhosis becomes worse, the liver has less healthy tissue. A healthy liver is essential in helping your body process food and nutrients into energy. It is also vital for removing harmful toxins. Over time, the liver becomes so damaged, it can no longer remove toxins from the blood. HE symptoms are broken down into four grades of severity:

  • Grade 1:
    • Lack of awareness
    • Euphoria or anxiety
    • Shortened attention span
    • Difficulty with addition or subtraction
    • Altered sleep patterns
  • Grade 2:
    • Lack of energy or interest
    • Confused sense of date and time
    • Obvious personality change
    • Inappropriate behavior
    • Uncoordinated movements
    • Tremor or flapping of the wrists
  • Grade 3:
    • Sleepiness or stupor
    • Responds to stimuli
    • Confused sense of place, where one is
    • Extreme disorientation
  • Grade 4:
    • Complete unresponsiveness (hepatic coma)

Treatments

Treatments can rid the body of toxins and reverse this temporary condition. These are aimed at lowering the level of ammonia and other toxins in your blood. These toxins initially arise in your gastrointestinal or GI system. Hence, therapies are focused on your gut to eliminate or reduce the production of toxins.

Arizona Liver Health conducts free fibroscans that can detect liver diseases, such as NAFLD and NASH. A fibroscan done early enough can help you avoid complications from untreated liver disease such as HE. Once results are ready, our medical staff will help you determine if additional steps are needed. If your results indicate abnormal liver function, our team will discuss enrolling studies for the liver that may be an option. Schedule your FREE fibroscan today! Request an appointment here or call us at (480) 470-4000.

Sources:

https://liverfoundation.org/for-patients/about-the-liver/diseases-of-the-liver/hepatic-encephalopathy/treating-hepatic-encephalopathy/

https://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/hepatic-encephalopathy/

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/21220-hepatic-encephalopathy



Social networks


Facebook

www.facebook.com/azclinicaltrials


Twitter

@azclintrials


Instagram

@azclinicaltrials



Locations


Mesa Office

2152 S Vineyard Ave Ste 123
Mesa, AZ 85210
480-360-4000


Tucson Office

1601 N Swan Rd
Tucson, AZ 85712
520-445-4000


Call us to see if you or your patient qualify for a clinical trial.