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Friday, July 24, 2009

Kidney Disease Cause at Early Stage Uncovered?

Kidney disease cause of its early stage has been thought of as discovered. This is significant as worldwide, 100 million people are affected by the early stage kidney disease. Massachusetts General Hospital , the largest training hospital for Harvard Medical School, conducted a study where they identified a molecular pathway that seems to be the cause of urinary protein loss. If this is blocked, then the kidney failure can be slowed down.

The senior author of this study who is also the director of the Program in Glomerular Disease at MGH, Jochen Reiser, MD, PhD, said they have information on this in both animal and human models. It appeared in Nature Medicine but is also available online.

Changli Wei, MD, PhD said that targeting the mechanism with molecule compounds or antibodies can stop or lower the urinary protein loss. This may then become a new way to treat kidney disease like diabetic nephropathy.

The filtering activity of the kidney is done in the blood vessels where there are extensions called podocytes that sift extra water out while keeping the larger proteins in. Some kidney diseases show these podocytes as having shrunk thus unable to do the filtering properly and allowing the proteins to seep out of the urine.

The researchers studied this situation and for the first time found what was capable of the motion that contributes to the breakdown of the podocytes. They focused on this and found uPar as linked to the movement. These are the same molecules associated with the healing of wounds, inflammation, metastasis and invasion of tumor.

There is a need for more studies to find out how uPar interacts with the others that are involved in the filtering of the protein and its leakage to the urine. They are now carrying out a clinical trial to block the uPar. Hopefully this will be the first step to intervene in these diseases.

I tried to get the latest research on the early kidney disease but didn't find any. Meantime, there is something we can do. After consulting with the doctor a special diet may help reduce the kidneys' workload and control the build up of fluid and waste products. This may help in slowing down the kidney function loss. Generally, this diet controls the, quantity of protein, sodium and phosphorus but make sure you get enough calories.

Sometimes there are no symptoms of the early stages of this condition so it is important that one who is at risk like those with diabetes and hypertension be tested. Usually they use the urine and blood test to find the creatinine in the blood. This way we can protect ourselves until they find the cause of early kidney disease.

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