NIH Expands Study to Better Understand Kidney Disease Progression
Researchers from the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort (CRIC) study are embarking on another 5 years of work to identify risk factors for progression of early-stage chronic kidney disease (CKD), better understand the importance of reduced kidney function in older persons, and learn what role CKD may play in other illnesses that require hospitalization. CRIC is supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
A major goal of the next 5 years is to recruit 1,500 people to the existing group of nearly 4,000 study participants. This additional time will allow researchers to collect more data needed to explore and build upon findings compiled during the past 10 years, and examine in much greater detail the broad range of illnesses experienced by people with CKD.
“Together with expanding the existing study population to include additional older patients and earlier stages of CKD, this fresh approach amounts to a regeneration of the CRIC study that will map out a whole new way to evaluate the impact of CKD,” said Dr. Robert Star, director of the Division of Kidney, Urologic, and Hematologic Diseases at NIH’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
NIH-funded Study Finding: Urine Test for Biomarkers, a Noninvasive Alternative to Kidney Biopsy, Can Diagnose and Predict Kidney Transplant Rejection
Analysis of three biomarkers in the urine of kidney transplant recipients can diagnose—and even predict—transplant rejection, according to results from a clinical trial sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the NIH. This test for biomarkers—molecules that indicate the effect or progress of a disease—offers an accurate, noninvasive alternative to the standard kidney biopsy, in which doctors remove a small piece of kidney tissue to look for rejection-associated damage.
In the study, part of the NIH-funded Clinical Trials in Organ Transplantation, investigators at five clinical sites collected urine samples from 485 kidney transplant recipients from 3 days to approximately 1 year after transplantation. The findings appear in the July 4 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
New Tools Help Dietetic Educators Teach CKD Nutrition Therapy
The National Kidney Disease Education Program has developed a suite of materials to support dietetic educators in teaching students and interns about nutritional interventions for CKD patients. The materials are designed to provide students and interns with the basic information they will need once they become practicing registered dietitians to counsel patients who have CKD.
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Study Finding: Acute Kidney Injury Can Lead to Permanent Kidney Damage
Research supported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) suggests that survivors of acute kidney injury (AKI)—a sudden loss of kidney function—have a lifelong increased risk for developing permanent kidney damage, resulting in decreased kidney function. In observance of World Kidney Day on March 14, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) sought to increase awareness of the long-term effects of AKI.
Over the past decade in the United States, the rate of AKI requiring dialysis has increased by 10 percent each year, and associated deaths have more than doubled. While rates of AKI are highest among hospitalized patients and people with existing kidney problems, AKI can also occur in people with normally functioning kidneys—usually as a result of illness, injury, or certain medicines.
"We now know acute kidney injury is not the isolated or temporary condition we once believed it to be. However, in many cases, it is preventable and treatable," said NIDDK Director Griffin P. Rodgers, M.D., M.A.C.P. "We must continue to support research to help us better understand the connection between acute kidney injury and chronic kidney disease, to prevent acute kidney injury in those at risk, and to identify and treat the condition when it does occur."
First Recipients of Research Grants to Support Genomic Studies in Africa Announced
The NIH and Wellcome Trust, a global charity based in London, have announced grants aimed at fostering cutting-edge research in the African scientific community. The Common Fund, a program supporting multidisciplinary programs across the NIH, is providing partial support for this global initiative. Scientists will conduct genomic research on kidney disease, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and other conditions through inaugural grants of the Human Heredity and Health in Africa Consortium (H3Africa). "H3Africa aims to transform the way science is conducted in Africa by creating a sustainable research infrastructure and catalyzing the use of advanced genomic technologies to improve our understanding of a variety of diseases," said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D.
NIDDK to Study Approaches for Improved Survival for People on Hemodialysis
More than 400,000 people are currently treated by hemodialysis under Medicare’s End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Program. To improve patient well-being and survival and to reduce complications, the NIDDK is funding Novel Interventions to Reduce Morbidity and Mortality of Hemodialysis Patients, a new program to encourage collaboration on pilot and feasibility studies. The studies will inform the design of subsequent full-scale randomized controlled trials of novel therapies.
Researchers are tasked to identify interventions that can improve patient outcomes. Interventions being considered for study include anti-inflammatory drugs, changes in dialysis techniques, changes in treatment protocols, and psychosocial interventions to treat depression or improve social support.
“This program of weighing the effectiveness of novel therapies holds the promise of moving the field forward in bold leaps,” said Paul Kimmel, M.D., of the NIDDK’s Division of Kidney, Urologic, and Hematologic Diseases. “The best potential ESRD therapies may be those that we currently shy away from as rather risky approaches. Also, partnering with the pharmaceutical industry could pave the way for Food and Drug Administration approval of new drug therapies.”
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Page last updated September 18, 2013