Nephrology and Clinical Trials Research Studies
Specialties in medicine, such as nephrology, and clinical trials go hand in hand. Patients suffering from diseases related to the renal system are increasing in number, including those with kidney problems and hypertension.
According to the World Health Organization, over 1.4 million patients worldwide are receiving renal replacement therapy (RRT) while the National Kidney Foundation reported in 2015 that 10% of the world’s population is suffering from Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). With the help of clinical trials in nephrology, more patients will have the opportunity to recover or be given palliative care using new medicinal drugs and treatments. Read on to better understand the significance of clinical trial research on medicine specialty.
What is nephrology?
Nephrology is a branch of internal medicine relevant to the diagnosis and treatment of different kidney diseases. These different medical conditions include hypertension, electrolyte imbalance and other renal diseases that require comprehensive dialysis and renal transplant. However, there are also systemic diseases that can befall patients which call for special treatments. The list includes congenital diseases, such as polycystic kidney disease and lupus, an autoimmune disease.
A renal physician, also called a nephrologist, is a doctor who has taken a special training and certification to become a nephrology specialist. Diagnostic tests can also be required by a nephrologist on the patient to know the proper treatment and the right medication for a certain renal disease. In addition, quite a number of kidney diseases require drug medication, such as, anti-hypertensive drugs and steroids. While these drugs can be effective, patients taking them can also suffer side effects. Moreover, there are those who have other ailments and the drugs they take might have adverse effects on them if taken with hypertensive drugs. Clinical trials are important to ensure these problems can be prevented.
Clinical trials are research studies conducted to explore if medical treatments, devices and drugs are effective on people and diseases. Also, these studies require the participation of humans who volunteer to get tested and treated with the device, method or drug being developed. There are different stages or phases in clinical trials, with the early phase usually exploring the side effects and safety of the drug or treatment. The later phase, on the other hand, is conducted to test if the new treatment is more favorable than the existing ones. While phases can be from 1 to 3, a fourth phase is sometimes done to know the efficacy of the drug and how well it works on a wider scale, find the benefits and long-term risks of the drug or treatment and learn more about the safety and side effects of the drug.
The number of ongoing clinical trials in nephrology continues to increase and these include treatment, prevention, diagnostic and screening. As opposed to cardiology trials, the number of Nephrology trials is smaller, with less than 100 patients. These trials include parallel groups and a single study group, with a percentage of crossover trials. In terms of drug intervention, nephrology trials are more likely to have it than cardiology trials.
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