The liver plays an important role in the detoxification (removal of toxins) of our body. In cirrhosis, the liver no longer has the capacity to fulfill this role, resulting in an accumulation of toxic substances, especially ammonia, in both the body tissues and in the brain. If this leads to a compromise of mental faculties, physicians speak of hepatic encephalopathy. This frequent complication of liver cirrhosis, however, does not strike suddenly but instead develops slowly and insidiously. It is a situation that can be dangerous, especially when the patient drives a motor vehicle or operates equipment of any kind. About 70% of those with cirrhosis of the liver show evidence of disturbed brain metabolism.
As this complication progresses, patients develop more obvious disorders, their co-ordination diminishes, their sleep becomes erratic, they are constantly tired and their memory is affected. Their ability to concentrate is reduced and they become more anxious and irritable. Untreated, patients with hepatic encephalopathy progress to coma and, ultimately, death. It is important to diagnose hepatic encephalopathy as early as possible, since it can be effectively treated in most cases and can resolve. The main goal of therapy is normalization of the above mentioned changes; this can often be achieved by reducing ammonia to normal levels and generally improving patients’ nutritional status. Also useful is therapy with the so-called branched-chain amino acids (e.g. Falkamin® Pellets). In their function as the building blocks of proteins, they improve the patients’ nutritional situation and also correct the body’s nitrogen balance by reducing in neurological symptoms. In addition, substitution with zinc (e.g. Zinkamin-Falk®) may have a positive effect.
At the same time, it is important to reduce the ammonia level in the bowel. The standard method involves treatment with lactulose, which gently cleanses the bowel.
Klinische Studie zur Beurteilung eines neuen, sich in der Erprobung befindlichen biologischen Medikaments. Der Name der Studie ist TRUST-2, was für „TRichUris Suis ova Trial“ steht.
Mehr als 200 Patienten mit MORBUS CROHN haben das sich in der Erprobung befindende Studienmedikament bisher in klinischen Studien eingenommen.
Die Studien zeigen eine Abnahme der Krankheitsaktivität und in der Mehrzahl der Fälle wurde Remission (beschwerdefreie Phase) erzielt. Die bisher beobachteten Nebenwirkungen betrafen zumeist den Verdauungstrakt.