Alcoholic liver disease.
Alcohol has been implicated in the genesis of liver disease for centuries. Significant progress has been made in our understanding of the pathogenesis of ALD. It is now apparent that both the consumption and the metabolism of alcohol promote the production of inflammatory mediators (cytokines) that result in hepatotoxicity and fibrogenesis. With time, this leads to progressively severe liver injury and, eventually, causes cirrhosis. Unfortunately, effective therapies for most individuals with ALD have not been found. High per capita consumption of alcohol, coupled with the dearth of effective treatments and the failure of most affected individuals to abstain from alcohol, explains why ALD is one of the most prevalent forms of disabling, chronic liver disease in the United States.
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