Our 200th patient in Birmingham, Karen, 75, was diagnosed with NAFLD in 2017 and explained why she decided to participate in health research via the BioResource:
“We have got learn a lot more about our bodies. There are so many things going on now, but research helps other people in the future. It might not help me at my age, but you have got to help the younger generation and understand diseases better.”
NAFLD is defined as the accumulation of excess fat in the liver and is now the most common cause of liver disease in Western countries, affecting approximately 30-40% of the UK population. It captures a spectrum of diseases ranging from simple steatosis to steatohepatitis and on to cirrhosis, with progression to Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH).
The NAFLD BioResource opened in December 2019, with Professor Phillip Newsome as the Chief Investigator based in Birmingham. There are 41 sites recruiting patients, with the NAFLD BioResource led by the Birmingham Biomedical Research Centre in collaboration with the Newcastle and Nottingham Biomedical Research Centres. Despite the many challenges faced through the COVID-19 pandemic, the team at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham have managed to recruit 200 patients into this important collaborative project.
Dr Matthew Armstrong, NAFLD BioResource Principal Investigator at Birmingham said:
“Despite it being so common, there are still some many unanswered questions in NAFLD. Large prospective datasets and sample storage with the BioResource will be invaluable.
“Our patients with a wide spectrum of NAFLD presentations are so dedicated to helping us understand their disease better.”
We understand the importance of looking after patients who have volunteered to participate in the NAFLD BioResource, as without them, our work cannot take place.
More from Karen:
“I feel like I have been taken care of and have had very good treatment from the Queen Elizabeth. You have to do these tests and trials to help other people.”
We appreciate all the patients who have decided to take part in the NAFLD BioResource and the recruitment teams across the country for their efforts.
The overall study is now approaching 1,000 patients, with more sites opening across the UK. Interest from researchers wanting to use the NAFLD BioResource to support their research is increasing and we look forward to working together with all our partners and patients as we strive to further understand the links between genes, the environment and the spectrum of conditions covered by NAFLD.
Learn more about the NAFLD BioResource and our other cohorts, including the general population, which anyone 16+ can join.
Researchers can learn more about how the BioResource can support your work on the information page.