What it is:
PKD stands for Polycystic Kidney Disease, it’s a condition which effects some 12.5 million people worldwide. PKD is amongst the most common life-threatening genetic disease on the world. A person who has PKD will spread kidney cysts slowly throughout their life, affected organs can, after 40-50 years, reach the scale of footballs. It goes without saying that they can become a supply of acute hurt and, sooner or later, affected kidneys will succumb to renal failure, no matter what. Ultimately, a kidney transplant is the only way to save the patient.
For a few years, sufferers of PKD went undiagnosed and the illness claimed a great many lives without ever being appropriately identified. Now, however, it is an internationally recognized illness and sufferers are carefully monitored from an young age.
In November of 2012, doctors at the KU kidney institute in Kansas, USA, developed a drug called tolvaptan. The medication was found to slow the growth of cysts and also lessening the loss of kidney function, this was a much-needed step by the right direction, but it isn’t a treatment.
This year, things have been looking up even more. Scientists functioning at Massachusetts For the General Hospital were actually able to improve a viable rat kidney and transplant it into a living animal. In addition of this, Dr. Xiaogang Li of the KU Kidney institute recently discovered that vitamin B3 can slow the expansion of cysts; in fact, his team was able to completely restore kidney use in test mice with PKD. Now that’s development.
Why we would like it:
Because 12.5 million people around the world are suffering with that genetic, life threatening disease, also, babies with PKD are being born every single day. A cure is needed and it is needed now.
When can we expect it?
A bona-fide treatment may yet be decades away, but if standard vitamin shots should be considered to control the condition itself, allowing patients to live longer, better lives, then I would say that we were definitely on the right track.
Drugs that manage the illness can be obtainable soon, however. Large-scale Human trials have confirmed that vitamin B3 is safe for widespread use. This means that it must be available to patients all over the world comparatively soon.
Doctors eventually hope to be able to manage PKD in the womb, stopping the disease before it begins. That would, effectively, represent a cure. Such technology is probably 10 years (or more) away, but we are getting there.
Cool Factor: 5/5
Keep in mind that scene in ‘Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home’ where the crew of the Enterprise journey back in time to that mid 1980’s and Doc McCoy encounters an elderly Woman who wants kidney dialysis. Exploding in disbelief, the great doctor cries “what is this, the dark ages!?” before giving the Woman a tablet that promptly grows her a brand new kidney, much to her delight. That’s where we can be within a few decades – ‘Star Trek’ technology. What could be cooler than that?
Joining the NHS organ donor list is the way you may help this situation, today.