Friday, 15 November 2013

Scottish Kidney Project Receives Major Grant!

A EUROPEAN-wide project, being co-ordinated by experts at Dundee University, has received a grant of £2.2 million to investigate new ways of improving kidney dialysis treatment. The European Union’s Marie Curie Partnership and Pathways programme has award £2.2 million to further the project's work. (That's about $3.5 million for our American readers.) A vast number of patients receive hemodialysis three times a week, in sessions lasting three to four hours. The dialysis equipment is connected to their blood supply through an access point grafted in to their body. A Dundee University spokesman explained: “The problem is that these vascular access sites fail in at least half of patients within the first year, leading to increased infections, hospital stays and operations. The ReDVA consortium will examine the problems that occur during long-term haemodialysis and look to improve the performance of vascular access that underpins the life-supporting dialysis techniques. “The academic members of the consortium will work with work with biotechnology experts at the University of Limerick in Ireland, Guerbet, a global imaging contrast company in France and Dundee-based Vascular Flow Technologies to investigate venous access and develop new clinical technologies, methodologies and devices to improve their performance.” He added: “The four-year project will see staff seconded between the universities and the industry partners as well as creating five new research posts.” “New techniques in imaging the vessel with ultrasound and MRI before it blocks, combined with improved surgical technique and vascular devices offers a real prospect of improving the lives of kidney failure patients. The research group offers an unparalleled range of expertise in surgery, imaging, and engineering to tackle this problem.” The grant is to the ReDVA Project. The ReDVA (Development of hemodynamic solutions in Renal Dialysis Venous Access) project is a team of scientists from the Dundee University Medical School, Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital and developers from industry. There are a few more details in the story published in

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Overnight Dialysis Boosts Heart and Kidney Health

Regular dialysis can really wear you out! Three days a week in a clinic for hours on end certainly takes its toll. Overnight dialysis is less tiring, taking place while you sleep, but recent research suggests it gives you more than just a rest! Have a read of the research paper in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology

Nocturnal home hemodialysis (NHD) could soon become a popular way to be treated. And it can be quite straightforward as well. After examining 17 patients responses to NHD, the spokesman for the group of medical scientists from Toronto, cardiologist Dr. Christopher Overgaard, said that "Longer dialysis, done while patients are sleeping, may improve the health of arteries and could lower the risk of developing heart disease."

While they are sleep, the patients are clearing their systems of more waste, and in a less disruptive manner, than they would be by going to their normal clinic several times a week.

And the heart benefit? The scientists found that coronary endothelial responsiveness — or how well the layer of cells along the inner lining of blood vessels functions — was partially improved with overnight dialysis. This finding is crucial for patients with impaired endothelial function, which is linked to accelerated atherosclerosis — or the hardening of arteries leading to the heart—in kidney disease patients.

Just imagine - a simple change in how the treatment is given and the patient's health improves. And it is less stressful than the standard hemodialysis treatment too!