Cover Stories

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In January 2012, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will launch a new congressionally mandated initiative designed to help improve the quality of patient care.

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The suspected molecular villain in Alzheimer’s disease (AD)—the amyloid precursor protein (APP)—may also play a role in kidney function, new research finds.

Certain genetic variants found in more than 30 percent of African Americans may be considered a double-edged sword: a new study indicates that they protect against a parasitic infection but increase the risk of developing kidney disease (Genovese G, et al. Association of trypanolytic spoL1 variants with kidney disease in African-Americans. Science. doi: 10.1126/science.1193032 [published online ahead of print July 15, 2010]).

Renal denervation—a technique that uses radiofrequency waves to disrupt the overactive sympathetic nerves running along the arteries in the kidneys—can lower blood pressure in individuals with resistant hypertension and normal kidney function, but clinicians have worried that the procedure might not be safe for patients with compromised kidney function.

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The approximately 3.5 million people who are homeless each year in the United States experience numerous barriers to obtaining appropriate and effective medical care, and they have high rates of physical illness, mental health disorders, and substance abuse.

For patients with advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD), how much does getting recommended pre-dialysis care affect outcomes? Quite a bit—not only for the individual patient, but also at the level of the dialysis center, according to a study in the May Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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