1 Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Virginia Commonwealth University, School of Medicine, Richmond, VA, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) was first described as a distinct clinical entity four decades ago. However, the condition has become the centre of attention within hepatology owing to its high prevalence and growing contribution to the burden of end-stage liver disease in the general population. This Perspective provides an overview on the development of knowledge related to NAFLD with a focus on landmark findings that have influenced current paradigms and key knowledge gaps that need to be filled to make progress. Specifically, a timeline of scientific discovery of both basic disease mechanisms (with a focus on human data) and the evolution of knowledge about the clinical course of the disease is provided and related to current approaches to treat and eventually prevent NAFLD.