IgA nephropathy (IgAN), also called Berger's disease, is a rare kidney disorder characterized by the buildup of IgA (immunoglobulin A), a protein that helps the body fight infections, in the kidneys. The deposits of IgA cause a breakdown of the normal filtering mechanisms in the kidney, leading to blood in the urine (hematuria), and protein in the urine (proteinuria). Other symptoms of IgAN may include kidney pain, swelling (edema) and high blood pressure.
IgAN is the most prevalent primary chronic glomerular disease worldwide and a major cause of end-stage renal disease (ESRD). In the U.S., the incidence of biopsy-documented IgAN is up to 1 per 100,000 people per year. Most often, the cause of the disorder is unknown, or idiopathic. The condition typically appears when people are in their teens to late 30s.
IgAN can cause a slow progression toward ESRD. There are no approved treatments indicated for IgAN.
The following organizations may be a resource for information and support for people with IgAN and those around them:
NephCure Kidney International is an organization committed exclusively to support research seeking the cause of the potentially debilitating kidney disease Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) and the diseases that cause Nephrotic Syndrome, improve treatment, and find a cure.
The Kidney & Urology Foundation of America (KUFA) is a national, 501 c(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping people with kidney and urologic diseases and individuals waiting for organ and tissue transplants. The Kidney & Urology Foundation focuses on care and support of the patient, the concerns of those at risk, education for the community and medical professionals, methods of prevention, and improved treatment options.
Global Genes is a non-profit patient advocacy organization working to eliminate the challenges of rare disease by building awareness, educating the global community, and providing critical connections and resources that equip advocates to become activists for their disease. Global Genes promotes the needs of the rare disease community under a unifying symbol of hope – the Blue Denim Genes Ribbon™. Numerous tools, resources and educational events can be found on the Global Genes website www.globalgenes.org.
The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) is a unique federation of voluntary health organizations dedicated to helping people with rare "orphan" diseases and assisting the organizations that serve them. NORD is committed to the identification, treatment and cure of rare disorders through programs of education, advocacy, research and service. In the US, NORD is also the official sponsor of Rare Disease Day, an annual global observance that raises awareness of rare diseases and elevates them into the public consciousness as an important health issue that cannot be ignored.
EURORDIS is a non-governmental patient-driven alliance of more than 700 rare disease patient organisations in more than 60 countries. EURORDIS strives to build a strong pan-European community of patient organisations and people living with a rare disease, to be their voice at the European level, and - directly or indirectly - to fight against the impact of rare diseases on their lives. EURORDIS leads global efforts for Rare Disease Day and the online social platform for people living with or affected by a rare diseases RareConnect. EURORDIS represents the voice of an estimated 30 million people living with a rare disease in Europe. Follow @eurordis or see the EURORDIS Facebook page. For more information visit: www.eurordis.org.