Kidney Failure: Will Dialysis Soon Be Excessive?

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Research: Scientists are working flat out to make dialysis therapy superfluous soon. In one study, numerous gene variants were found that can affect kidney function.

Scientists at the University of Greifswald are currently working flat out to make dialysis therapy superfluous in the future. A large study found numerous gene variants that can affect kidney function. The researchers from Greifswald are working with numerous scientists from all over Europe. A total of 67,000 subjects were examined for the study. In their study, the scientists benefited from the fact that the functions of the kidney can be assessed on the basis of a simple blood value. "Although each of these variants has little influence, the combination of" bad "genes could significantly increase hereditary predisposition to chronic kidney failure," the researchers said.

The Greifswald scientists have a clearly defined goal: They want to make the strenuous and life-restricting dialysis superfluous for patients. In the science magazine "Nature Genetics" Professor Dr. Karlhans Finally and Professor Dr. Rainer Rettig: "Making blood wash and transplants largely unnecessary in the future is the main concern of our work".

Around 90,000 people in Germany have to undergo dialysis. Dialysis therapy is a blood purification procedure that is used for kidney failure. In addition to kidney transplantation, dialysis is the most important conventional medical kidney replacement therapy for chronic kidney failure and one of the treatment options for acute kidney failure. During dialysis, blood is pumped out of the patient via an access, guided past the dialysis membrane in the dialyzer (filter) and returned to the patient in a cleaned state.

If kidney diseases are recognized too late, this can have fatal consequences. Patients can then expect progressive loss of kidney function. Then only dialysis or a kidney transplant will help. The most common cause of kidney failure are so-called pre-existing conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes. "But not all patients suffering from these diseases develop chronic kidney failure. Scientists have long suspected that hereditary predisposition plays an important role," said Dr. Rainer Rettig. And that's exactly where the researchers want to start. (sb, 04/12/2010)

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