Tuesday November 13, 2018

Gene Therapy may Help Treat Chronic Kidney Disease

Chronic kidney disease is a slowly progressive disease, so that is an advantage

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DNA
New ML-tool uses DNA to predict height and cancer risk. Pixabay
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Scientists have found that administering gene therapy may reverse damage in kidney cells, suggesting a potential treatment for chronic kidney disease characterised by gradual loss of its functions.

The research showed that whether adeno-associated virus (AAV) — a relative of the virus that causes the common cold — could deliver genetic material to damaged cells in the kidneys.

They explained that diabetes, hypertension and other conditions cause chronic kidney disease, which occurs when damaged kidneys cannot effectively filter waste and excess fluids from the body.

“Chronic kidney disease is an enormous and growing problem. Unfortunately, over the years, we have not developed more effective drugs for the condition, and this reality is leading us to explore gene therapy,” said Benjamin D. Humphreys from the Division of Nephrology at Washington University in the US.

gene
Gene (Representational image). IANS

In the study, published in Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, the team evaluated six AAV viruses, both natural and synthetic, in mice and in stem-cell-derived human kidney organoids.

A synthetic virus, Anc80, created by the researchers proved successful in reaching two types of cells that contribute to chronic kidney disease by secreting proteins that gum up the organ and cause irreversible damage.

The results showed that the genetic material carried by Anc80 was transferred successfully to the targeted kidney cells and the same virus was also used in gene therapy strategies to treat mice with kidney scarring.

Also Read: Parkinson’s Identified Gene to Combat Alzheimer’s

“The interesting thing about the adeno-associated viruses is that they persist in the body for many months, potentially giving a therapeutic gene a chance to do its work,” Humphreys explained.

“Chronic kidney disease is a slowly progressive disease, so that is an advantage. After many more years of research, we could envision that patients would need injections maybe twice a year as opposed to every week, like with chemo,” Humphreys added. (IANS)

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Coffee Can Reduce Fatality Rate For People Suffering From Chronic Kidney Disease

For the study, described in the journal Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation, the team involved data from 4,863 people.

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Coffee beans, chronic kidney disease
Coffee may prolong lifespan for people with kidney disease. VOA

Drinking coffee may help reduce the risk of death for people with chronic kidney disease, suggests a study.

Comparing with people that consumed less caffeine, patients that consumed higher levels of caffeine presented a nearly 25% reduction in the risk of death over a median follow-up of 60 months.

The possible protective effect of caffeine might be related with effects at vascular level as caffeine is known to promote the release of substances, such as nitric oxide, that improve the function of the vessel, the researchers said.

chronic kidney disease
Kidney disease. IANS

“Our study showed a protective effect of caffeine consumption among patients with chronic kidney disease. The reduction in mortality was present even after considering other important factors such as age, gender, race, smoking, other diseases, and diet,” said lead author Miguel Bigotte Vieira from the Centro Hospitalar Lisboa Norte in Portugal.

“These results suggest that advising patients with kidney disease to drink more caffeine may reduce their mortality. This would represent a simple, clinically beneficial, and inexpensive option,” Vieira added.

For the study, described in the journal Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation, the team involved data from 4,863 people.

Also Read: Smelling Coffee May Boost Your Analytical Skills

However, the researchers emphasised that this observational study cannot prove that caffeine reduces the risk of death in patients with chronic kidney disease, but only suggests the possibility of such a protective effect. (IANS)