New drug offers potential treatment for common kidney disease

According to a recent study, there are already medications available to treat a dangerous illness that might lead the kidneys to suddenly stop functioning. The study is published in Science Translational Medicine.In a study on mice, researchers discovered that drugs often used to treat angina and high blood pressure significantly reduced the long-term harm caused by acute renal injury to the kidney and cardiovascular system (AKI).The results, according to experts, should pave the way for better AKI therapy. AKI accounts for 20 per cent of emergency hospital admissions in the UK and is a frequent ailment.The disorder is typically brought on by other illnesses that decrease blood supply to the kidney or by drug toxicity.’AKI must be treated quickly to prevent death. Even if the kidneys recover, AKI can cause long-lasting damage to the kidneys and the cardiovascular system.Of those who survive an episode of AKI, 30 per cent are left with chronic kidney disease (CKD). The remaining 70 per cent that recovers full kidney function are at an almost 30-fold increased risk of developing CKD.A team from the University of Edinburgh found that patients with AKI had increased blood levels of endothelin – a protein that activates inflammation and causes blood vessels to constrict. Endothelin levels remained high long after kidney function had recovered.