A team of researchers from the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Centre, in conjunction with the University of Heidelberg, have conclusively proven that a solitary gene has the effect of protecting some diabetic patients from developing fatal severe kidney failure, also known as end-stage renal disease .
Diabetes itself is one of the major causes of this severe type of kidney disease, which can be fatal. Treatment usually involves extensive dialysis treatment or a kidney transplant. The researchers found that the carnosinase 1 gene, which adheres to chromosome 18 amongst humans, protects some diabetics .
The results, which were published online in nephrology dialysis transplantatio, were gleaned from a study group of over 850 patients. They included groups who had end-stage kidney failure, those who had good kidney function, and healthy patients without diabetes.
Barry Freedma, leading the study, said: “This is a major gene that appears to be associated with development of severe diabetic kidney disease. Prior to these genetic analyses, kidney doctors were unaware that this pathway played an important role in diabetic kidney disease.”

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