Researchers have developed a new test, which is still in the midst of getting approval from the FDA, which can test whether a person who has a diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes is also at risk for kidney failure. People who are suffering from diabetes have a much higher risk of running into kidney problems, and this test could make it easy for their doctors to determine whether they need to be considering treatments for kidney disease as well.
If doctors were able to use the test and learn that a person is at risk right away, even before there are any signs and symptoms of kidney failure, then it would mean that they could start treatment earlier. This gives them the potential to halt the progressive worsening of the kidneys that so many patients experience.
The researchers who discovered the blood biomarkers that would make the test possible hope that the FDA approves the use of the test and that doctors start to use it on all of their Type 1 patients. This has the potential to be more accurate than the tests that are out there now. The test looks for a protein called KIM-1. This stands for kidney injury molecule 1. They’ve found that patients who have worsening kidney problems usually have elevated levels of the protein in their system.
They are also looking to see whether their KIM-1 test will be able to detect other types of kidney problems as well. For example, they are hoping that the test could help detect things such as kidney tumors. This means that the test could become even more important to kidney health.
A number of different organizations were involved in this research, including Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Joslin Diabetes Center, Harvard Medical School, the Harvard School of Public Health, the University of Liverpool, and the University of Edinburgh.
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