Leicester research group receives £200,000 from leading charity

Posted by pt91 at Oct 14, 2014 12:03 PM |
Kidney Research UK funds investigations into IgA Nephropathy

Issued by Kidney Research UK on 14 October 2014

A group of Leicester based doctors and scientists led by Dr Karen Molyneux have received almost £200,000 of funding to investigate a strain of kidney disease which affects around 10% of patients on dialysis.

Dr Karen Molyneux and her team at the University of Leicester have received funding from Kidney Research UK, the largest funder dedicated to kidney research and kidney problems in the UK.

IgA Nephropathy (lgAN) is caused when a protein in the blood damages the kidney. Around 30% of patients with the condition will need to start dialysis or have a kidney transplant because their kidneys will fail. IgAN doesn’t have a cure and many patients don’t find out they have it until it has already damaged their kidneys.

Fact File: IgA Nephropathy

  • IgA Nephropathy (IgAN) mainly affects people in their 20s and 30s
  • The initial symptom is cola or copper coloured urine
  • The only way to diagnose IgA Nephropathy is to perform a kidney biopsy
  • Even with a kidney transplant the disease can recur because the condition is in the blood, not the kidney itself

Inside the kidney are filters which work like a sieve and filter blood to remove all the waste products the body doesn't need. This is expelled as urine.

Everyone has a protein in their blood called IgA, which normally helps the body fight infection. However, in some people the protein gets stuck inside the kidneys’ filters and damages them. This condition is called IgA Nephropathy.

As the kidney’s filters become more and more damaged by the IgA protein, they can’t filter waste as effectively and the kidneys gradually stop working. Patients will then need to start dialysis to replace their kidney function, or have a kidney transplant.

Dr Molyneux commented: “Our work will try to understand how the IgA protein which gets caught in the kidneys filters and causes damage. We don’t know what causes IgA Nephropathy, so this kind of basic science is vital to help us understand more about the disease.

“Almost a third of people who have IgAN have to start dialysis or have a kidney transplant. In the long term, a better understanding of the disease could help identify new and more effective treatments for it.”

Elaine Davies, Director of Research Operations at Kidney Research UK, said: “IgA Nephropathy can take some people by surprise because of its lack of symptoms. Therefore research into understanding this condition is vital if we are to develop ways to better detect and treat it. Our research is funded almost wholly by the public, and we can only continue to fund research like this with their continued support.”

To find out more about the work of Kidney Research UK, visit: www.kidneyresearchuk.org.

ENDS

Media contacts:
Kidney Research UK Press Office: 01733 367 860
E-mail: pressoffice@kidneyresearchuk.org
Web: www.kidneyresearchuk.org.uk

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Notes to Editors:
Kidney Research UK

The charity Kidney Research UK was founded in 1961 and is the largest funder dedicated to life-saving research into kidney disease in the UK.

Kidney disease is a silent killer and every year more than 55,000 people are treated for end stage kidney failure, 3,000 people die on dialysis, while 350 die waiting for a kidney transplant. Kidney Research UK is dedicated to substantially reducing these numbers through funding life-saving research into kidney disease and by generating public awareness of kidney health.

90 per cent of people on the transplant list are waiting for a kidney, which is more than 6,000 patients. Even though cases of kidney failure are increasing by four per cent every year, Kidney Research UK must turn down four out of every five research proposals it receives due to a lack of funding - proposals which are aimed at enhancing treatments and ultimately finding a cure for kidney disease.

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