Rodica Pop-Busui, M.D., Ph.D., is leading the U-M site of PERL

PERL of wisdom

Seeking patients with Type 1 diabetes for study on renal disease

issue 21 | Spring-Summer 2014

The Preventing Early Renal Function Loss in Diabetes (PERL) Consortium was recently awarded $24.3 million by the National Institutes of Health for a novel clinical trial to study a potential kidney disease treatment for people with Type 1 diabetes. U-M is one of eight institutions in the consortium.

This five-year randomized clinical trial will evaluate whether allopurinol, an inexpensive and safe FDA-approved drug for treating elevated uric acid (gout), is effective in reducing or slowing down kidney function loss among people with Type 1 diabetes. Candidates for the study are currently being sought.

If the study shows that allopurinol can halt or slow down loss of kidney function by lowering levels of serum uric acid, it would be a major breakthrough. This relatively inexpensive drug could become a standard diabetes treatment and an important tool for preventing end-stage renal disease.