A new research has discovered how a liver enzyme protects the cells from the damage caused by jaundice. Needless to say, this new development could lead to new treatments for the condition.
The researchers at the University of Guelph in Canada now believe that the discovery may ultimately lead to alternative treatment for jaundice such as a new drug or supplement.
Jaundice is a common occurrence in almost two out of three newborns, and normal treatment of it involves the use of ultraviolet light which doesn’t always work that well. The condition is mostly benign but severe cases can cause permanent brain damage and thus lead to cerebral palsy and hearing loss. Jaundice can affect people by increasing the breakdown of red blood cells just as malaria and it can also contribute to liver disease. A substance called bilirubin collects in the blood and high amounts of it could be toxic and could cause permanent brain damage.
Scientists need to determine safe and effective levels of the enzyme before developing any treatment, said Kirby. "We need to fine-tune our ability to manipulate this enzyme and fully understand its role in bilirubin removal," he said. The study was published in the journal Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology.
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