Scientists from Singapore and China studying people of Han Chinese descent have identified genes and regions in the human genome that increase susceptibility to IgA nephropathy. The researchers believe the genes could also play a role in the development of clinical symptoms and their severity. Lead scientist, Dr. Yu Xueqing said, “These findings offer us opportunities to identify important biological pathways involved in IgAN development and further explore novel approaches to intervene and thus prevent affected patients from developing severe kidney damage.”
IgA nephropathy occurs when immunoglobin A, an antibody that helps fight infections, builds up inside the blood vessels of the kidney, causing inflammation. The disease affects people differently. Some experience occasional blood in the urine, while others suffer decreased kidney function and often kidney failure. IgAN is a leading cause of kidney failure among Asian populations and usually affects males in their teens to late 30’s.
Scientists Unravel Kidney Disease Susceptibility Genes in Asian Genomic Study, Asian Scientist, January 4, 2012