Hepatitis C News and Research RSS Feed - Hepatitis C News and Research

Hepatitis C is a blood-borne virus that infects the liver, where it causes significant inflammation, damage and disruption of normal liver function. According to estimates by the World Health Organization, around 3 to 4 million people worldwide are infected with hepatitis C every year.

The hepatitis C virus is usually transmitted through contact with the blood of an infected individual and, most commonly, people catch it through sharing contaminated needles when injecting illegal drugs.

Hepatitis C infection is categorized into an acute and a chronic stage. The acute phase describes the first 6 months of infection when there are not necessarily any symptoms. Around one quarter of people manage to clear the infection during this stage before disease progresses to the chronic stage.

People who go on to develop chronic hepatitis C may develop jaundice which turns the skin and whites of the eyes yellow. This is caused by the build-up of a yellow-colored substance in the blood called bilirubin that would usually be broken down by the liver if it was healthy. Chronic infection may eventually cause fibrosis and scarring (cirrhosis) of the liver, liver cancer or end stage liver failure.

Hepatitis C can be treated with antiviral medications that that are designed to disrupt the multiplication of virus particles inside the body and prevent liver damage.
Treatment for IBS proves difficult, survey reveals

Treatment for IBS proves difficult, survey reveals

A new national survey by Health Union of more than 1,000 individuals with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) reveals that the condition is difficult to diagnose and often even more difficult to treat. [More]
Epclusa drug receives FDA approval for treating adult patients with chronic HCV

Epclusa drug receives FDA approval for treating adult patients with chronic HCV

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Epclusa to treat adult patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) both with and without cirrhosis (advanced liver disease). [More]
MAIT cells of immune system can fight all sorts of bacterial and viral infections

MAIT cells of immune system can fight all sorts of bacterial and viral infections

Oxford University research has found that a little-studied and relatively unknown part of the human immune system could be twice as important as previously thought. [More]
Study finds dramatic increase in nonmedical use of prescription opioids in the U.S.

Study finds dramatic increase in nonmedical use of prescription opioids in the U.S.

Nonmedical use of prescription opioids more than doubled among adults in the United States from 2001-2002 to 2012-2013, based on a study from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, part of the National Institutes of Health. Nearly 10 million Americans, or 4.1 percent of the adult population, used opioid medications in 2012-2013 a class of drugs that includes OxyContin and Vicodin, without a prescription or not as prescribed (in greater amounts, more often, or longer than prescribed) in the past year. [More]
First CRISPR/Cas9 screen helps identify human proteins required for Zika virus replication

First CRISPR/Cas9 screen helps identify human proteins required for Zika virus replication

Scientists at the University of Massachusetts Medical School have performed the first CRISPR/Cas9 screen to discover human proteins that Zika virus needs for replication. [More]
Scientists identify potential drug target that disrupts Zika and similar viruses

Scientists identify potential drug target that disrupts Zika and similar viruses

Scientists potentially have found a way to disrupt Zika and similar viruses from spreading in the body. [More]
New survey shows how patients use social media to gain better understanding of health condition

New survey shows how patients use social media to gain better understanding of health condition

A new survey from Health Union of more than 2,200 people with chronic health conditions and their caregivers illustrates how patients use online health information to better understand their health condition, learn about symptoms and treatment, and share experiences with other patients living with the same health condition. [More]
Portal vein hypertension diminishes after hepatitis C recovery

Portal vein hypertension diminishes after hepatitis C recovery

This inflammatory viral infection of the liver causes inflexible scar tissue to form. This in turn impedes blood flow through the organ, with resulting hypertension in the portal vein. [More]
Study provides more insight into treatment options for severe hemophilia A

Study provides more insight into treatment options for severe hemophilia A

Families of children with severe hemophilia A may want to take a fresh look at treatment options from human plasma. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine on May 26 showed that participants who received a recombinant therapy— the present standard in the United States — developed antibodies or "inhibitors" to the treatments at almost twice the rate as those whose treatments were made from human plasma. [More]
Novel enzyme immunoassay helps diagnose HCV infection in one simple step

Novel enzyme immunoassay helps diagnose HCV infection in one simple step

The current standard in diagnosing Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection requires two sequential steps that make it suboptimal, costly, inconvenient, time consuming, and globally not widely available or affordable. [More]
Panel of microRNAs can predict patients at risk for developing HBV-driven liver cancer

Panel of microRNAs can predict patients at risk for developing HBV-driven liver cancer

Hepatocellular carcinoma, the most common type of liver cancer, is increasing in incidence in the United States, and infection with the Hepatitis B virus (HBV) causes about 50 percent of cases. [More]
Video conference technology connects hospital specialists and nursing home staff to care for dementia patients

Video conference technology connects hospital specialists and nursing home staff to care for dementia patients

Nursing homes in the United States care for increasing numbers of people with dementia, yet many lack access to geriatric psychiatrists, behavioral neurologists and other specialists who may help manage symptoms associated with dementia, including behavioral issues. [More]
Scientists use new technique to repair fibrotic liver cells within the organ

Scientists use new technique to repair fibrotic liver cells within the organ

Advances in stem cell research have made it possible to convert patients' skin cells into heart cells, kidney cells, liver cells and more in the lab dish, giving researchers hope that one day such cells could replace organ transplantation for patients with organ failure. [More]
First ECHO model helps improve screening and management of autism

First ECHO model helps improve screening and management of autism

Wait lists for a specialist to confirm an autism diagnosis can be agonizing and last months. As the prevalence of autism and autism spectrum disorders increase, so does the demand for a health care system that is fully equipped to respond to the complex needs associated with autism. [More]
Research sheds light on potential impact of HCV treatment in preventing virus transmission

Research sheds light on potential impact of HCV treatment in preventing virus transmission

An international team of researchers has shed light on the potential impact of new drugs for hepatitis C virus (HCV). [More]
Experimental hepatitis C drug slows down development of Zika in mice

Experimental hepatitis C drug slows down development of Zika in mice

Virologists from KU Leuven, Belgium, have shown that an experimental antiviral drug against hepatitis C slows down the development of Zika in mice. The research team was led by Professor Johan Neyts from the Laboratory of Virology and Chemotherapy. [More]
New national survey reveals that asthma patients most frequently use rescue inhaler

New national survey reveals that asthma patients most frequently use rescue inhaler

In a new national survey of asthma patients, Health Union, and its new online community Asthma.net, reveals that most were satisfied with the care they received; however, the most frequently used form of treatment, at 89%, is the rescue inhaler. [More]
New study sheds more light on level of alcohol consumption among people with hepatitis C

New study sheds more light on level of alcohol consumption among people with hepatitis C

Drinking alcohol can increase the risk of illness and death from the hepatitis C virus. A new national household study of U.S. adults published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine shows that many people living with hepatitis C report either former or current excessive alcohol use. [More]

Antiviral therapies equal survival rate of HCV-related cirrhosis patients with general population

The survival rate of patients with hepatitis C virus-related cirrhosis who respond well to antiviral therapies equals that of the general population, say investigators in the Journal of Hepatology. [More]
Study on Zika exposure among HIV-infected patients in Ghana

Study on Zika exposure among HIV-infected patients in Ghana

What many may not know is that the Zika virus is a distant cousin of hepatitis C, a blood borne-virus that attacks the liver and often co-infects HIV patients. [More]
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