Patients with several ailments are awaiting a breakthrough in research to help them manage their conditions better. This is especially true for patients with chronic conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes that have no real cure and have to be managed for life. Although it is manageable moderately through medicine and lifestyle changes, CKD is also one such condition that stands to benefit greatly from breakthroughs in treatment.
Finding new ways to manage kidney disease, prevent deterioration of the kidneys, and minimise the possibility of kidney failure are key areas of research. Treatment plans are now more focused on reducing albumin levels and maintaining glomerular filtration rate to preserve kidney function.1
Emerging trends in kidney care
Several new techniques and trials for kidney disease treatment have either been approved or are in the final testing phases. These attempt to change how kidney treatment is viewed and approached. Here are some options that look to shape the future:
- Complement inhibition: The activation of complements in the body has shown a significant relation to an increase in glucose levels and thereby, contribute to kidney disease. Inhibiting or suppressing complements has shown a positive effect on kidney health. The only caution in this form of treatment lies in the potential risk of infection, as complements are an important part of our immunity.1
- Inhibition of JAK-STATpathways: The JAK-STAT pathways are associated with the processes of immunity and cell death or division in the body. Inhibiting the functions of JAK-STAT has already shown potential benefit in the treatment of colitis and rheumatoid arthritis. In the case of kidney function, there has been a positive result in the treatment of inflammation and in addressing issues pertaining to diabetes. In the tests conducted so far, this method has shown immense potential in reducing the excretion of protein in urine.1
- Blockers: In research conducted by the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, a form of treatment has been developed that aims to control the leakage of protein from the body, which is one of the major obstacles in the management of CKD. The treatment is a two-fold mechanism. The first is an inhibitor that controls inflammation, while the second addresses blood pressure and issues of diabetic kidney disease. The blockers are especially beneficial due to their ability to bind easily to the kidney cells.2
- Artificial tubules: This form of treatment draws from the fact that kidney cells are required to filter and eliminate waste. The treatment focuses on boosting the elimination process. The method used in this treatment involves the insertion of artificial kidney cell units called nephrons that can regulate the elimination of waste as well as the movement of protein. This is great not just for patients with CKD but also in the treatment of kidney failure in its early stages.3,4
Talk to your doctor today to discuss the new therapies and their possible side-effects to understand what, if any, could be a possibility. With so much activity in the area of kidney care and CKD, it is almost certain that there will be a significant improvement to the quality of life of patients with CKD in the coming years. For those with CKD, it means being able to find better alternatives to managing the condition, reversing possible damage to the kidneys, and also being able to live a better life. More reasons to smile, more reasons to walk that extra mile!
- Breyer MD, Sustztak K.Developing treatments for chronic kidney disease in the 21stcentury.SeminNephrol. 2016 Nov;36(6):436-447.Available from:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5423404/
- New treatment targeting chronic kidney disease [Internet]. [cited 2019 Sep 25]. Available from: https://www.perkins.org.au/news/new-treatment-targeting-chronic-kidney-disease
- Humes HD,Mackay SM,Funke AJ, Buffington DA; Tissue Engineering of a Bioartificial Renal Tubule Assist Device: In Vitro Transport and Metabolic Characteristics; Kidney International; 1999; Issue 6; Volume 55; Pages 2502-2514
- Nissenson AR, Ronco C, Pergamit G, Edelstein M, Watts R.Continuously functioning artificial nephron system: the promise of nanotechnology.Hemodial Int. 2005 Jul;9(3):210-7. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16191071