A 59-year-old man who was diagnosed with fatty liver disease after taking part in an Ebola trial is urging others to take part in vital research.
Ian Miles, from Abingdon, has been a blood donor for more than 25 years, and learnt he had the condition after he put himself forward as a volunteer for a University of Oxford vaccine trial.
Routine tests confirmed he had build-up of fat in his liver, something that is usually seen in people who are overweight or obese.
Following the diagnosis, he took part in a trial testing the usefulness of Liraglutide, a weight loss drug, in treating his type of non-alcoholic liver disease (NAFLD).
In the process, Mr Miles shed two stone in weight and is now urging others to take part in NHS research.
Mr Miles, who hopes to lose a further half-a-stone, said: “Apart from the weight of course, you really have nothing to lose.
“It’s a way of contributing more or less anonymously to something for the public benefit, while potentially gaining some individual benefit out of it as well.”
The trial, called the Lifestyle and Liraglutide (LiLi) study, began in January. In barely three months Mr Mile’s Body Mass Index (BMI) had dropped by four points, his waistline by as many inches, and his three-month scan confirmed that his liver fat had been greatly reduced.
Dr Ahmad Moolla, the clinical research investigator co-ordinating the study, said: “Clinical research is vitally important so that we are able to investigate and assess the potential of new treatments for conditions where, for example, existing treatment options are few or have a limited effect.
“Without the kind support and willingness of participants to take part in clinical research studies, the task of tackling conditions such as fatty liver disease, which poses a considerable burden to both patients and to the NHS, would be even more challenging.”