Scientists at the University of California, Santa Barbara have reported a discovery at the cellular level that suggests possibilities for drug therapy for kidney disease.
Over 600,000 people in the U.S. are affected by the inherited kidney disease known as ADPKD, short for autosomal-dominant polycystic kidney disease. In the U.S. this is more than the number of individuals affected by cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, hemophilia, Downs syndrome, and sickle cell anemia combined. The disease is characterized by the proliferation of cysts that eventually debilitate the kidney, causing kidney failure in half of all patients by the time they reach age 50.
Currently no treatment exists to prevent or slow cyst formation, and most ADPKD patients require kidney transplants or life-long dialysis for survival, explained Thomas Weimbs, assistant professor of biology at UCSB and director of the lab that made the discovery, which was reported in the January issue of the journal Developmental Cell.
Gail Gallessich | EurekAlert!
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