What options or treatments are available for individuals with ADPKD?
Traditional thinking is none, keep the patient comfortable. Keeping the blood pressure under control. The two major blood chemical levels that are monitored or measured are the creatinine level and the blood urea nitrogen level (BUN) level. As these two levels rise, they are indicators of the decreasing ability of the kidneys to cleanse the body of waste products. Your doctor can get an idea how fast your renal function is deteriorating. One of the hopes is to try to make the original parts last for you, as long as possible. Hopefully reducing the chances for dialysis and/or transplantation.
Doctors use a urine test, the "creatinine clearance," to measure the level of kidney function. The patient saves urine in a special container for one full day. The waste products in the urine and in the blood are estimated by measuring the creatinine. By comparing the blood and urine level of this substance, the doctor has an accurate idea of how well the kidneys are working. This result is called the creatinine clearance. Usually, when the creatinine clearance falls to 10-12 cc/minute, the patient needs dialysis. Then the only other thing you need to be concerned with are the heart attacks and strokes that come along with all this.
Is ADPKD considered a contagious disease?
Is ADPKD also thought of as a sexually transmitted disease?
Yes, not in a usual manor. You can not receive it from your partner, it is passed on to the children you produce. Carriers could be the father or the mother, or both... This disease does not discriminate, it treats everyone equally. It does not skip generations. Most articles state there is a 50% chance of passing it on. What I have witnessed, it is alot higher than that. I have seen three generations where all the children and all the grandchildren show positive!
Why is it that no one hears about this disease?
The position currently taken is, there is no treatment and no cure. So don't worry yourself. When the drug companies have a drug to manage ADPKD the whole world will know and hear about PKD. Odds are this, "New Drug" to manage ADPKD, will also cost more than dialysis. Then at that point early detection will be important. Currently, N.I.H. is Identifying the families, building a data base. Check Item #24 on my research page.
Then when this, "New Drug" is available to the masses the pharmaceuticals will want to start treatment as early as possible. I have heard, 18 years of age. This opinion or model is short sided. Medical Science, has come a long way since the mid-eighties. Real soon in the next few years Tengion, and companies similar will be able to take genes from a host, grow a kidney from those genes, in a matter of weeks. Then transplant this new, neo-kidney back into the original host. Once again I encourage you to read our research page.