Kidney disease is a life-threatening complication of diabetes-- a disease marked by high levels of glucose in the blood because of defects in the way the body makes or uses insulin. For instance, in 2002, nearly 154,000 diabetic patients reached end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and were living on chronic dialysis or with a kidney transplant, according to the American Diabetes Association. That's more people than live in the entire city of Hampton, Va. Currently, the number of people in the United States with ESRD is about 300,000. That population is expected to double by 2010. The challenge for patients, their families, researchers, nurses and physicians is stopping the progression of kidney disease in its tracks in people with diabetes, potentially saving thousands of lives.
Research on one promising new treatment uses a growing body of evidence that inflammation may be a key cause of diabetic kidney disease.
Generally, inflammation is a nonspecific immune response to a type of bodily injury. Working with that idea, Dr. Mark Okusa, a nephrologist and professor of medicine at the University of Virginia Health System, has won two grants totaling $1.2 million over four years to test whether certain drugs can interrupt the inflammatory process that occurs in diabetic kidney disease. These drugs act on receptors for the compound adenosine. One drug, called ATL-146e, is licensed to the company Adenosine Therapeutics LLC of Charlottesville, Va. Preliminary results show that this drug prevents inflammation associated with acute kidney injury.
"We've been working with drugs affecting the adenosine system in acute kidney injury since the mid-1990's," Okusa said. "Why not take these concepts and apply them to treat chronic kidney disease?" Key members of the Okusa lab at UVa, including Dr. Alaa Awad and Mrs. Liping Huang, have found that adenosine drugs can prevent some of the most serious symptoms of diabetic kidney disease.
"In our laboratoryPage: 1 2 Related medicine news :1
Contact: Bob Beard
University of Virginia Health System
. Doctors have key role in preventing and detecting child neglect and abuse2
. Doctors conclude temsirolimus is effective new treatment for advanced renal cell carcinoma3
. Doctors, engineers develop new wireless system to detect esophageal reflux4
. Doctors ill equipped to confront parent smoking5
. Doctors test effort that helps people understand health risk information6
. Doctors neglect insomnia in older patients7
. Doctors extended duration work shifts are associated with medical errors and adverse events8
. Doctors working overseas face having licenses removed9
. Doctors must debate hospital closures10
. Doctors cut repeat LASIK visits dramatically11
. Doctors warn: Do not rely only on what young athletes say when managing concussions