An ongoing study is investigating how water intake could help treat autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease, says a recent report.
Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is the most common form of polycystic kidney disease. The disorder causes many cysts to grow in the kidneys, which damages them and reduces their function. It is inherited from a person’s parents in an autosomal dominant pattern. This means that only one copy of a mutated gene must be inherited for the person to get the disease.
The major symptom of ADPKD is the development of cysts in the kidneys. Other common symptoms include high blood pressure, swelling and/or pain in the torso, urinary tract infections, kidney stones, cysts in other body parts like the liver and pancreas, and kidney failure. These symptoms usually develop between ages 30 and 50 but can appear earlier. To learn more about ADPKD, click here.
Australian researchers are studying whether a prescribed amount of water could help reduce kidney failure in ADPKD patients, because water can stop the hormone that makes the damaging cysts grow.
This study, which is randomized and will go on for three years, is called PREVENT-ADPKD. Published in the journal BMJ Open, the study builds off of previous research with animals and two smaller human trials. Increased water intake slowed cyst growth, which helped to mitigate kidney failure. The past studies, however, did not have a control group. So this bigger study, which already has over 240 patients enrolled, will hopefully further support past results.
PREVENT-ADPKD’s primary focus is to see how using water as a treatment works by monitoring rate of cyst growth in the kidneys using an MRI. ADPKD causes kidney failure in five to ten percent of patients, and people who experience it usually need dialysis and/or a kidney transplant. Both can be expensive, and researchers hope that a positive result will show that water is a cheaper, yet still effective option. If they can slow the disease at an earlier stage, they could stop kidney failure from happening at all.
The study’s findings are expected to be reported in 2020.