Washington: A gene that causes adevastating kidney disease, mostly in children, has beendiscovered by a team of American scientists.Researchers from Children`s Hospital Boston and Brighamand Women`s Hospital have identified the gene -- INF2 -- whichcauses Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), the secondleading cause of kidney failure in children, according to TheNephCure Foundation.The study, published in Nature Genetics, may provideclues to developing treatments for the disease which currentlyforces children and young adults onto dialysis and oftenrequires a kidney transplant.
According to the researchers, the discovery thatmultiple families have mutations in INF2 is exciting."It not only furthers our understanding of FSGS, butalso tells us that INF2 and the pathways in which it isinvolved are important for normal kidney function," they said."FSGS is a frustrating disease for clinicians, as wehave little understanding of the biology and poor treatmentoptions. We hope that further scientific work on INF2 willlead to better options."FSGS attacks the kidney`s filtering system, causingproteins to be lost into the urine and reducing the kidney`sability to filter wastes from the blood.According to NephCure, which helped fund the study, 26million Americans suffer from chronic kidney disease, of whichFSGS is one of the most common forms.Patients with FSGS are often treated with steroids,which are only partially effective and have very harsh sideeffects.In addition, they often face several trips a week to thehospital for dialysis, and many require a kidney transplant,along with lifelong treatment with powerful immuno-suppressantsto prevent organ rejection. PTI
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