Learn about how your liver works, ways to look after it and how liver damage is caused, studied and treated around the world.
Learn about the amazing roles the liver fulfils to keep you healthy.
We are currently experiencing an international explosion of liver disease that continues to have an enormous impact on healthcare systems and global health. In the UK we have seen a 20% increase in deaths related to liver disease since 2000 and this pattern reflects the global situation.
Contrary to expectations, this dramatic increase in liver disease is not restricted to patients who drink alcohol, and liver cancer is the third most common cause of cancer-related death. Many inherited conditions and acquired infections can also cause liver disease, and liver disease as a consequence of obesity and diet is becoming especially significant.
This course will teach you about the amazing roles the liver fulfils to keep you healthy and will show you how these functions are compromised when the liver is damaged. We will highlight the reasons why liver disease is on the increase and show you some of the amazing new treatment options available to address the global challenge of liver disease. Finally, we will also show you some simple steps you can take to look after your liver to prevent liver disease.
The Educators won’t be able to join the discussions in this course run or respond to individual comments, but the course encourages a strong learning community. Discussion is an important part of this course – supporting other learners, sharing your own experience and knowledge, and listening to new perspectives. We hope that you will enjoy interacting with and learning from each other in this way. Don’t forget to comment, reply to other learners and ‘like’ comments.
What topics will you cover?
- Liver anatomy and function
- Viruses, autoimmunity, alcohol and metabolic disease
- Diet and the liver
When would you like to start?
Most FutureLearn courses run multiple times. Every run of a course has a set start date but you can join it and work through it after it starts.
- Available now
What will you achieve?
By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to:
- Describe the anatomy and function of the liver, and understand how individual cell types contribute to these.
- Compare the signs and symptoms of liver disease and understand what causes them.
- Discuss the major global causes of liver disease.
- Reflect on the varied causes of liver disease.
- Explore treatments for different types of liver disease and understand the challenges of treatment.
- Explore how diet impacts on the function of both healthy and diseased livers.
Who is the course for?
The course will be of relevance to those who enjoy the study of biology and are interested in medicine. Secondary or High school-level knowledge of science is sufficient to complete this course. There will also be optional, additional materials for those already educated to undergraduate level and those who would like to challenge themselves and explore beyond the core material.
Who will you learn with?
Liver disease course leads
Dr Patricia Lalor and Dr Zania Stamataki are research scientists who study the mechanisms of human liver disease in the Centre for Liver Research at the University of Birmingham.
Who developed the course?
University of Birmingham
The University of Birmingham is a public research university, consistently listed as a leading UK university and ranked among the top 100 in the world.
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