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Diabetic Neuropathy - Research Today
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation 2005,
Diabetic kidney disease, also known as diabetic
neuropathy, is one of the most common and most devastating
complications of diabetes. It is a slow deterioration of the
kidneys and kidney function which, in more severe cases, can
eventually result in kidney failure, also known as end-stage
renal disease, or ESRD. About 25 percent of people with juvenile
(type 1) diabetes suffer from nephropathy. Those with type
2 diabetes are also at risk.
How Far Have We Come?
Research shows that kidney damage is directly tied to high
blood sugar levels, and there is also evidence of a cyclical
connection between high blood pressure and kidney disease.
Overall, scientists know there is a link between diabetic
nephropathy and heredity, but more information is needed to
understand it. To aid in prevention, doctors have identified
possible symptoms to look for, and measures to take. Measures
have also been outlined to help prevent onset of kidney failure.
In the event that kidney failure does occur, dialysis and
transplantation are two viable treatment options.
Though no cure exists, scientists are evolving strategies
for the prevention and treatment of diabetic nephropathy.
Researchers are investigating the genetic components of nephropathy
in people with type 1 diabetes, to aid in screening for early
treatment. Several drugs for treating hypertension, as well
as other types of drugs, are showing promise for treating
the disease, but more research is needed. Research is also
underway to understand the mechanisms of the disease, improve
the success of kidney transplants, and test the effectiveness
of simultaneous kidney and pancreas transplants.
Study Shows Early Diabetic Kidney Disease Can Be Reversible
New research by a JDRF-funded scientist and colleagues brings
encouraging news about nephropathy (kidney disease) in people
with juvenile (type 1) diabetes. The earliest sign of nephropathy,
microalbumuria, which was thought to lead inevitably to deteriorating
kidney function, is actually reversible in many cases, suggesting
that prompt intervention might undo damage caused by high