New Research Suggests That Leprosy May Be Able To Help Grow And Regenerate Human Livers

bnenin - - illustrative purposes only, not the actual people

Hansen’s disease, also known as Leprosy, is one of the oldest infectious diseases in the world.

It is caused by Mycobacterium leprae, and those who contract the disease may experience skin, nerve, and mucous membrane impacts– including but not limited to discolored skin, skin growths, muscle weakness or paralysis, enlarged nerves, and nosebleeds.

This age-old disease has been a problem for centuries, even being described within the literature of ancient civilizations’ past.

Ever since the 1940s, though, many medical breakthroughs have emerged to combat and manage Leprosy.

Interestingly, though, the chronic disease that many have fought to ward off is now being turned to as a possible avenue for organ regeneration.

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland recently discovered that parasites linked with Leprosy have the ability to reprogram cells– ultimately increasing the size of adult animal livers without causing scarring, damage, or tumors.

This finding is groundbreaking since it suggests that a natural process could increase lifespan by renewing aging livers.

Livers are also one of the most sought-after organs for transplants– with over seventeen thousand patients in the U.S. currently on the liver waiting list.

Previous research has shown other ways to regrow livers– particularly in mice– using generated stem cells and progenitor cells. However, these strategies were invasive and often resulted in tumor growth and scarring.

bnenin – – illustrative purposes only, not the actual people

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