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New biomarker could improve kidney tests

Category: Kidney Diseases

Individuals who have a history of renal disease in their family may want to consider seeking a kidney test, as new research has found that there may be a genetic component to the condition that can be passed through generations.

Researchers from the Translational Genomics Research Institute found a genetic biomarker that is strongly associated with kidney disease. The biomarker is a hormone that regulates blood pressure and fluid balance, but, due to genetic variations, is unable to maintain these functions in individuals with renal disease.

Johanna DiStefano, who led the study, said that testing for this biomarker may result in better knowledge of who is most likely to develop kidney disease. This could help doctors treat the condition more effectively by allowing them detect it early.

"This study could someday lead to better treatment options for those patients suffering from diabetic kidney disease," she said. "We are conducting ongoing studies to further investigate these markers, and potentially what they might mean for the development of new therapeutics."

Individuals with poor kidney function tend to have unhealthy blood sugar levels, high blood pressure and are at increased risk of heart disease.

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