Meet Dr. Abhimanyu GargLipodystrophy Specialist
- Holder of the:
- Distinguished Chair in Human Nutrition Research
Patients travel from around the world seeking advice and treatment from Abhimanyu Garg, M.D., an expert in lipodystrophies, a group of acquired and inherited disorders affecting adipose (fat) tissue and characterized by selective loss of fat from various parts of the body. Lipodystrophies predispose patients to develop diabetes, fatty liver, and high blood levels of lipids.
Dr. Garg has studied lipodystrophy for nearly 30 years and was the first to test the hormone leptin as treatment for lipodystrophy as part of a clinical trial that started at UT Southwestern in 2000.
In 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved metreleptin, which is the drug form of leptin, for treatment of generalized lipodystrophy – a huge accomplishment for Dr. Garg and his team that has proven to be life-changing for some patients.
Prior to that approval, standard treatment for lipodystrophy consisted of high-dose insulin plus triglyceride- or lipid-lowering medications. Metreleptin curbs the appetite and normalizes lipodystrophy patients’ metabolism, offsetting the metabolic abnormalities common in these patients.
In addition to his ongoing research and treatment of lipodystrophies, Dr. Garg also specializes in patients with lipid metabolism disorders that affect the way cholesterol and fat are used in their bodies.
These complicated disorders cause patients to experience high cholesterol or triglyceride levels that can lead to cardiovascular complications such as heart disease or stroke. Treatment involves the ongoing management of the underlying issues to minimize the risk of those severe outcomes.
As accomplished as Dr. Garg is in these areas, his approach to compassionate patient care has never changed.
“Each patient is unique. I believe in talking to them, listening to them, and learning from them,” he says. “I have been seeing some of my patients nearly their whole lives, and they mean a lot to me.”