Adult polycystic kidney disease
[Dr. Fowler]: Adult Polycystic Kidney Disease is a genetic disease which is dominant so it's passed if you have one of the genes it's passed to the next generation. It's something that may start in early childhood, but in a greater majority of cases often it only pitches up or becomes obvious in the person well into their adult life. What happens is that there is an abnormality in some of the membranes in the body which causes these membranes to form small cysts, almost little balloon like structures in various organs. The most obvious one is the kidney and eventually the kidney gets replaced by multiple cysts and the kidney ends up being 2, 3, 4 times its normal size and eventually the person will go into renal failure because of that. Now associated with that in some cases, you may see similar cysts in the pancreas, the liver, in the lung. Those are often not life threatening in any way and are just incidental findings. But there's one other place that you will find a similar cystic change and that's in the blood vessels at the base of the brain where the corroded arteries come up and supply the brain. We can end up with a cystic change in one of the blood vessels there which is called an aneurysm, a Berry aneurysm. Now if one of those Berry aneurysms bursts it can flood the cranial cavity with blood, causing a fairly rapid death because of the blood pouring into that area.