Once viewed as a hopelessly incurable disorder, polycystic kidney disease (PKD) has emerged as a prime target of study and treatment. The PKD Foundation, founded by the late Joseph H. Bruening and Jared J. Grantham, MD, in 1982, is the catalyst for this growth. Our purpose is to bridge the gap between ignorance and knowledge about PKD by promoting programs of research and fostering public awareness among medical professionals, corporations, foundations and the general public. We work to develop funding for peer-approved biomedical research projects. In addition, we provide the only regular source of PKD information and offer the only complete forum for patient education anywhere in the world. PKD is one of the most common life-threatening genetic disease in the world, affecting 600,000 Americans and 12.5 million people worldwide. PKD affects more people than sickle cell anemaia, cystic fibrosis, Down's syndrome and muscular dystrophy combined. PKD comes in two hereditary forms: autosomal dominant (ADPKD), or autosomal recessive (ARPKD), a relatively rare disease that often causes significant mortality in the first month of life.
Contributions to the PKD Foundation provide highly qualified investigators the opportunity to gather valuable information in their study of PKD. From this research, the PKD Foundation has made significant progress in the diagnosis of PKD, the identification and treatment of aneurysms, the management of hypertension, the treatment of kidney infections and the understanding of cyst growth. Since 1987, the PKD Foundation has established more than 72 PKD Chapters throughout the United States and in other countries. Chapters consist of PKD patients and their families and friends who assist the efforts of the foundation. Our Action Alert program assists people in contacting their legislators in Congress when important issues arise concerning PKD. Since 1990, the PKD Foundation has held the only comprehensive patient conference on PKD in the entire world. The annual event is filled with lay seminars and workshops presented by PKD experts.