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Wear The Gown: Clinical trial to battle fatty liver disease

Clinical Trials of Texas says Hispanics are more at risk.

SAN ANTONIO — Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease affects one out of every four people in the world. The disease is the most common form of liver disease in the U.S. and is even more common in Hispanics. A trial currently underway at the Clinical Trials of Texas aims to isolate that gene and get rid of the defect with a form of medication.

"I have friends that have problems with their livers and if I can help – not maybe not find the cure, but at least get to the cure – then I want to try," said 65-year-old Buddy Mallett who found out he has fatty liver disease when being screened for the study.

He realizes why these clinical trials are so important.

"Everybody who can and help with any type of disease – whether it's liver, diabetes, heart disease or anything of that nature. If they're capable of going into a study... Jump in and jump in and help," Mallett added.

Those most at risk for fatty liver disease include people who are obese, those with high blood pressure, people with high cholesterol, those who are middle-aged and people with certain infections such as Hepatitis C.

"The body is not able to rid the liver cells of the fat. And so it builds up in these liver cells. And then because of that, causes damage to liver cells that leads them to further disease," said Dr. Douglas Denham, the Chief Medical Director of Clinical Trials of Texas.

It could even progress to cirrhosis of the liver if not treated, and even death. That's why this specific trial is so important.

"If you fit that category where you have diabetes, you have hypertension, you have obesity and want to come in for a free screening to see if you do have fatty liver, we're happy to do that for you," Dr. Denham said.

If you think you may qualify for this study or wish to take part in any medical trial with Clinical Trials of Texas you can call them at (210) 949-0122 or click here.

For more information on family health, call (210) 358-3045. You can also find the rest of our Wear The Gown stories here.