Nav: Home

Computer kidney sheds light on proper hydration

October 07, 2019

A new computer kidney developed at the University of Waterloo could tell researchers more about the impacts of medicines taken by people who don't drink enough water.

In a recent study, Waterloo researchers found that the elderly, people with impaired kidney function and those taking a combination of certain drugs need to be extra mindful of their water intake.

"People who have high blood pressure are typically given a water pill, so they pee a lot to lower their blood volume and in so doing lower their blood pressure," said Anita Layton, professor of Applied Mathematics, Pharmacy and Biology at Waterloo. "These patients are frequently also given another drug that targets a hormonal system which will affect the kidney as well.

"A lot of people are on these two drugs, and they will be fine. But one day they might have a headache and take an aspirin, and the three of these drugs together can hurt your kidneys."

The ability of the kidney to maintain water balance is vital to our health. It controls water balance, and when we are dehydrated, it produces highly concentrated urine to get rid of waste using as little water as possible. The older population, those with kidney diseases, and those on blood pressure medication sometimes have a problem with water balance.

Layton, the Canada 150 Research Chair in Mathematical Biology and Medicine, built the first computational model that simulates the muscle contractions that move urine from the kidney to the bladder.

Layton's model found that unless a patient is properly hydrated, taking the two blood pressure drugs and an aspirin concurrently could cause acute kidney injury. The injury happens when there is an insufficient water balance, which can lead to concentrated urine from a build-up of waste in the body.

"Incredibly, how mammals produce a highly concentrated urine is not well understood," Layton said. "We're now a step closer to understanding how water balance is maintained in mammals."

Notably, this study is an example of the interdisciplinary research in which Layton and other Waterloo researchers are involved. Layton's research group uses mathematics as a microscope to understand biology and medicine. They build computer models to simulate the effects of various drugs and apply mathematical techniques to analyze clinical data.
-end-
The study, titled Solute and water transport along an inner medullary collecting duct undergoing peristaltic contractions, authored by Waterloo's Faculty of Mathematics researcher Layton, was recently published in the American Journal of Physiology - Renal Physiology.

University of Waterloo

Related Blood Pressure Articles:

Brain blood flow sensor discovery could aid treatments for high blood pressure & dementia
A study led by researchers at UCL has discovered the mechanism that allows the brain to monitor its own blood supply, a finding in rats which may help to find new treatments for human conditions including hypertension (high blood pressure) and dementia.
Here's something that will raise your blood pressure
The apelin receptor (APJ) has been presumed to play an important role in the contraction of blood vessels involved in blood pressure regulation.
New strategy for treating high blood pressure
The key to treating blood pressure might lie in people who are 'resistant' to developing high blood pressure even when they eat high salt diets, shows new research published today in Experimental Physiology.
Arm cuff blood pressure measurements may fall short for predicting heart disease risk in some people with resistant high blood pressure
A measurement of central blood pressure in people with difficult-to-treat high blood pressure could help reduce risk of heart disease better than traditional arm cuff readings for some patients, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association's Hypertension 2019 Scientific Sessions.
Heating pads may lower blood pressure in people with high blood pressure when lying down
In people with supine hypertension due to autonomic failure, a condition that increases blood pressure when lying down, overnight heat therapy significantly decreased systolic blood pressure compared to a placebo.
The Lancet Neurology: High blood pressure and rising blood pressure between ages 36-53 are associated with smaller brain volume and white matter lesions in later years
A study of the world's oldest, continuously-studied birth cohort tracked blood pressure from early adulthood through to late life and explored its influence on brain pathologies detected using brain scanning in their early 70s.
Blood pressure control is beneficial, is it not?
Until recently, physicians had generally assumed that older adults benefit from keeping their blood pressure below 140/90 mmHg.
The 'blue' in blueberries can help lower blood pressure
A new study published in the Journal of Gerontology Series A has found that eating 200g of blueberries every day for a month can lead to an improvement in blood vessel function and a decrease in systolic blood pressure in healthy people.
How to classify high blood pressure in pregnancy?
The American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC) changed their guidance to lower the threshold criteria for hypertension in adults.
Discovery could advance blood pressure treatments
A team of Vanderbilt University Medical Center researchers, working with the US Department of Veteran's Affairs (VA), has discovered genetic associations with blood pressure that could guide future treatments for patients with hypertension.
More Blood Pressure News and Blood Pressure Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Teaching For Better Humans 2.0
More than test scores or good grades–what do kids need for the future? This hour, TED speakers explore how to help children grow into better humans, both during and after this time of crisis. Guests include educators Richard Culatta and Liz Kleinrock, psychologist Thomas Curran, and writer Jacqueline Woodson.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#556 The Power of Friendship
It's 2020 and times are tough. Maybe some of us are learning about social distancing the hard way. Maybe we just are all a little anxious. No matter what, we could probably use a friend. But what is a friend, exactly? And why do we need them so much? This week host Bethany Brookshire speaks with Lydia Denworth, author of the new book "Friendship: The Evolution, Biology, and Extraordinary Power of Life's Fundamental Bond". This episode is hosted by Bethany Brookshire, science writer from Science News.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Space
One of the most consistent questions we get at the show is from parents who want to know which episodes are kid-friendly and which aren't. So today, we're releasing a separate feed, Radiolab for Kids. To kick it off, we're rerunning an all-time favorite episode: Space. In the 60's, space exploration was an American obsession. This hour, we chart the path from romance to increasing cynicism. We begin with Ann Druyan, widow of Carl Sagan, with a story about the Voyager expedition, true love, and a golden record that travels through space. And astrophysicist Neil de Grasse Tyson explains the Coepernican Principle, and just how insignificant we are. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.