New Hope for CKD: A Silent Epidemic
Chronic Kidney Disease takes more lives than breast or prostate cancer. It affects 15% of the adult population in the United States, nearly 37 million people. According to the National Kidney Foundation, almost 9 out of 10 people with CKD do not notice any symptoms and have not been diagnosed.
Detecting, preventing, and treating CKD is paramount to avoiding a public health crisis. One which, like so many others, is only being aggravated by aging populations around the world. CKD is a prototypical example of inflammatory disease and premature aging.
With CKD, kidneys become damaged over time or cannot clean the blood as well as healthy kidneys. Then wastes and extra water build up in the body and may cause other health problems, including heart disease and high blood pressure. Once your kidneys fail, you either need regular dialysis, in which a machine filters your blood like healthy kidneys would or have a kidney transplant.
Diabetes and high blood pressure are the major causes of CKD in adults. Other risk factors include heart disease, obesity, a family history of CKD, past damage to the kidneys, and older age.
But there’s good news. A gene therapy is being investigated for its wide-ranging anti-aging properties and health benefits which plays a pivotal part in protecting our kidneys and brain. It holds promise for CKD and Acute Kidney Injury. A single injection of a gene therapy may protect kidneys for a lifetime. It may not only reverse this premature aging, but also enhance kidneys’ resistance to oxidative and ischemic damage. Even more impressive, this therapy outright extends the lifespans of mice.
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