MEDIA FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)
What are NAFLD and NASH?
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a condition in which excess fat is stored in your liver. When fatty liver progresses to inflammation and cell damage, the result is non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). NASH is a serious progressive liver disease where chronic inflammation results in progressive fibrosis or scarring that can lead to cirrhosis, eventual liver failure, cancer and death. Advanced fibrosis is associated with a substantially higher risk of liver-related morbidity and mortality in patients with NASH, and as early as 2020, the disease is projected to become the leading cause of liver transplants in the United States. There are currently no medications approved for the treatment of NASH.
What is the Fatty Liver Foundation?
The Fatty Liver Foundation (FLF) is the first non-profit, voice of the patient organization solely devoted to helping people with fatty liver disease and the more serious version NASH.
What is the mission of FLF?
FLF’s mission is to improve the diagnosis, treatment and support of Americans with fatty liver, NAFLD or NASH through awareness, screening, education and outreach.
What are the goals of FLF?
- Raise awareness on the existence, prevalence, causes, and threat of fatty liver disease in at-risk populations;
- Develop mobile wellness screening to identify people in at-risk populations that have advancing but asymptomatic liver disease;
- Educate patients about the disease as well as dietary and lifestyle approaches that can slow or halt its progression;
- Champion the development of a responsive support system for patients;
- Facilitate the connection between diagnosed patients and clinical trials;
- Build a database of screening test results for epidemiological and interventional research.
Who leads FLF?
Wayne Eskridge is the founder and CEO of the Fatty Liver Foundation. Wayne worked in software and electronics through a 50-year professional career. He held both technical and executive roles in both public and private corporations in businesses of all sizes, from start-ups to Fortune 500 firms.
Wayne was first diagnosed with liver disease in 2010 and, as a result of his own experiences, he became aware of an acute need for an educational resource from a patient perspective. At the core of his motivation is the fact that an estimated 100 million Americans already have fatty liver disease and are unaware of it. While there is currently no medical treatment for NAFLD and NASH, lifestyle changes can be effective in managing the disease. Prevention through education is the only practical solution today. His desire to help others avoid his experiences led him to the decision to become a champion for the patient voice and to create FLF.
What are FLF’s current projects?
Central to the goal of patient education and outreach is the FLF website, www.fattyliverfoundation.org. The website serves as a reliable source for NAFLD and NASH information, delivery of technical information in a non-technical manner, and serving as a point of contact for patients and caregivers.
A key to adding value to the patient voice is the bringing together of the many individual voices in a way that they may be collectively heard. People with fatty liver disease have not typically been recognized during their asymptomatic phase and often learn of disease with a cirrhosis diagnosis. Through the website outreach, FLF seeks to alert people to the risks and actions that they may take.
FLF is running a population-based cohort research project — the SUNN Study (Screening for Undiagnosed NAFLD and NASH (clinicaltrials.gov NCT03726827). The purpose of this study is to measure liver stiffness of patients who are coping with chronic health conditions such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, etc., but are not known to have liver disease. It is designed to help measure how many people have asymptomatic undiagnosed liver disease in these high-risk populations.
The SUNN Study is the pilot phase of the FLF’s plan to deploy 400 mobile screening systems nationwide to screen for asymptomatic but advancing liver disease. A challenge facing medical research is a lack of early-stage liver patients who exist but have not been identified and thus are not candidates for clinical trials.
National Fatty Liver Registry
FLF is leading the development of the National Fatty Liver Registry (NFLR) in partnership with various leading organizations to design and implement this strategic and landmark project. The goal is to build the largest database of screening test results for NAFLD and NASH in the world. At scale and full deployment, the target is one million tests per year, capturing valuable data for epidemiological and interventional research.
Where does FLF get its funding?
FLF is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization that relies on the generous contributions of individuals, corporate sponsorships, in-kind donations, and grants to support and sustain its operations in order to advance FLF’s mission and catalytic projects.