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Genetic Kidney Diseases: Early signs and tests

Genetic diseases can affect many members of a family over generations. Learning to catch early signs of the disease can enable effective treatment, since it can help to change the course of the disease or prevent its advancement. In a webinar moderated by Anjali Uthup Kurian, Dr. Sree Bhushan Raju, Professor and Head, Department of Nephrology at Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences, Hyderabad explained the genetic causes of kidney diseases. Although a difficult area of study, Genetics is important since every aspect of an individual’s external and internal features is determined by his genes. Dr. Raju establishes that having a family history of diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, are genetic risk factors along with obesity, race and ethnicity.

While Polycystic Kidney Disease and Alport Syndrome are known genetic kidney diseases, not many are aware that Diabetes and Hypertension account for a large percentage of genetic kidney disease, and only a small percentage of kidney disease have non-genetic causes. Dr. Sree Bhushan, however, assures us that the mere presence of the genes for the disease does not mean that a person will definitely get the disease. He emphasizes that even if the disease is genetically determined, it is a person’s attitude that determines the outcome of the disease. Should diseased native kidneys be removed after a transplant? Will a genetic kidney disease affect the transplanted kidney? Will other organs be affected by a genetic kidney disease? Such queries were answered in the session while Dr. Sree Bhushan underlined the importance of screening of siblings if one is found with genetic Kidney Disease. Watch the video to get an understanding of Genetic Kidney Disease through a simple and lucid explanation.

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