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More Data On Key Genes In Diabetes
Type-1 diabetes not so much bad genes
Early-onset diabetes, also known as type-1 diabetes, is an autoimmune disease, caused when the immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells in a person's pancreas.
What triggers that immune response apparently has less to do with having a distinct set of gene variants than how the behavior of genes may differ in people with the disease. That is the finding of a study reported in the recent issue of Clinical Immunology, by Garry Fathman, MD, professor of immunology and rheumatology, and colleagues.
The paper builds upon the knowledge that particular immune-system-related gene variants confer type-1 diabetes susceptibility. A number of people have those genes, but only a fraction actually develop the disease. This has led a number of researchers to conduct exhaustive searches of the genome for other elusive genes that, when defective, may predispose someone to type-1 diabetes. Fathman suggests they may be on the wrong track.
Fathman explained it this way: "Take a pair of identical twins, with one having type-1 diabetes. Eventhough both have precisely the same genes, roughly half the time the other twin doesn't get the disease." The same holds true for other autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis, he added.........
Green tea may delay onset of type 1 diabetes
Scientists were testing EGCG, green tea's predominant antioxidant, in a laboratory mouse with type 1 diabetes and primary Sjogren's syndrome, which damages moisture-producing glands, causing dry mouth and eyes.
"Our study focused on Sjogren's syndrome, so learning that EGCG also can prevent and delay insulin-dependent type 1 diabetes was a big surprise," says Dr. Stephen Hsu, molecular/cell biologist in the School of Dentistry.
They found it also worked well in their original disease focus.
In the mouse, EGCG reduced the severity and delayed onset of salivary gland damage linked to Sjogren's syndrome, which has no known cure.
"EGCG modulates several important genes, so it suppresses the abnormality at the molecular level in the salivary gland. It also significantly lowered the serum autoantibodies, reducing the severity of Sjogren's syndrome-like symptoms," Dr. Hsu says. Autoantibodies are antibodies the body makes against itself.
Both type 1 diabetes and Sjogren's syndrome are autoimmune diseases, which cause the body to attack itself. Autoimmune disorders are the third most common group of diseases in the United States and affect about 8 percent of the population, says Dr. Hsu. Sjogren's syndrome can occur alone or secondary to another autoimmune disease, such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis or type 1 diabetes.........
Researchers continue to find genes for type 1 diabetes
"As we add to our knowledge of the biology of type 1 diabetes and better understand details of the disease's genetic risk, we will be able to develop better diagnostic tests that meaningfully predict who will develop diabetes," said study leader Hakon Hakonarson, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Center for Applied Genomics at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
The study appeared online Oct. 7 in Diabetes, the journal of the American Diabetes Association. Hakonarson's co-leader in the study was Constantin Polychronakos, M.D., director of Pediatric Endocrinology at McGill University in Montreal.
Type 1 diabetes, formerly called juvenile diabetes, commonly begins in childhood, when the body's immune system malfunctions and destroys insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. Without insulin, blood sugar levels run out of control and can impair blood flow and damage the eyes, nerves and kidneys. It is second only to asthma as the most common chronic disease in American children. Patients are dependent for life on insulin injections or insulin medications.........
Unique drug combination for Type I diabetes
The study tested the combination of Lisofylline (LSF), a drug that is being developed to halt immune damage to insulin producing cells, and Islet Neogenesis Associated Protein peptide (INGAP), a drug based on a naturally occurring protein produced by the pancreas. (ADA abstract number: 1620-P Unique Drug Combination for Reversal of Type 1 Diabetes, by Tersey, Carter, Kropf, Rosenberg, Nadler, available online at http://scientificsessions.diabetes.org).
The study was conducted at the University of Virginia by a team of researchers led by Jerry L. Nadler, M.D. Currently Director of Endocrinology and Metabolism at the University of Virginia, Nadler will join the faculty at Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) in July as chair of the Department of Internal Medicine and head of the EVMS Strelitz Diabetes Center.
INGAP was discovered in 1997 at the EVMS Strelitz Diabetes Center by Aaron I. Vinik, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Internal Medicine and the Strelitz Center's Director of Research.
Diabetes is caused by the body's inability to produce or process insulin, a hormone that cells need to convert food into energy. Uncontrolled diabetes causes serious complications throughout the body, including cardiovascular disease, blindness, kidney failure, and nerve disease. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, caused when the body's own immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas. This damage was once believed to be irreversible, however, new evidence suggests that the pancreas has an innate ability to repair and regenerate the insulin-producing cells. In Type 1 diabetes, however, the pancreas' ability to self-repair cannot keep pace against the autoimmune response that is causing the diabetes.........
Natural compounds in cocoa and type 2 diabetes
Consuming a cocoa flavanol-rich beverage daily may have the potential to positively impact the blood vessel dysfunction linked to diabetes, suggests a first-of-its-kind study recently reported in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology by an international group of scientists. Study participants who regularly consumed a cocoa flavanol-rich beverage made using the Mars, Incorporated Cocoapro process experienced a 30 percent improvement in measured vessel function at the completion of a 30-day trial.
Poor blood vessel function is recognized as an early stage in the development process of cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis. For more than 20 million Americans living with diabetes, these vascular impairments can eventually lead to heart disease and stroke, the cause of death for two-thirds of those who suffer from diabetes. Despite good diabetes control and medical therapy, adults with the disease often continue to experience vascular dysfunction. This has led researchers on a search for novel medical or nutritional options to improve the health and quality of life for people with diabetes.........
How slow growth as a fetus can cause diabetes as an adult
Pervious studies using the rat model of IUGR have shown decreased fetal expression of the gene Pdx1, which is critical for the development and function of the cells that become defective in type 2 diabetes (pancreatic beta-cells), and adult onset of diabetes. In this study, expression of Pdx1 was found to be reduced in pancreatic beta-cells throughout life following IUGR. The molecular mechanisms (known as epigenetic mechanisms because they affect gene expression without altering the information in the gene) that reduced Pdx1 expression in pancreatic beta-cells were found to change during development. One mechanism was observed in the fetus, one following birth, and one after the onset of diabetes in adulthood. Of interest, the mechanisms reducing Pdx1 gene expression in the fetus and following birth could be reversed, whereas those reducing Pdx1 gene expression in the adult were irreversible. These data provide new insight into the mechanisms by which diabetes develops in adulthood following IUGR.........
Benefits of drug therapy for diabetic eye disease
These findings, representing the six-month end-point evaluation of the READ-2 clinical trial coordinated by The Johns Hopkins University, were presented Monday at the 2008 Annual Meeting of The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
As per Barbara Araneo, Ph.D., director of the complications program at JDRF, These are very encouraging results, showing that drugs we have been testing in human clinical trials can be effective in slowing or stopping the effects of eye disease brought on by diabetes.
The multi-center READ-2 Study (Ranibizumab for Edema of the mAcula in Diabetes), which began in December 2006, was designed to test the long-term safety and effectiveness of injections of the drug ranibizumab in patients with diabetic macular edema, a condition characterized by swelling of the central portion of the retina, or macula, at the back of the eye. In addition, the trial sought to determine the comparative efficacy of ranibizumab versus conventional therapy laser photocoagulation treatment or both together.........
'Tweens' double use of diabetes drugs
The finding is included in a study of chronic medicine use in children 5 to 19 reported Wednesday, Nov. 7 at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association by scientists from the Saint Louis University School of Medicine and School of Public Health and pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts. In addition to diabetes, utilization patterns for blood pressure, cholesterol, asthma and depression medications were also examined.
Across every chronic medicine class we examined over this four year period of time, childrens use increased, with varying patterns of growth across males and females and age groups, said Emily R. Cox, Ph.D., RPh, senior director of research at Express Scripts.
For example, the number of males between 15 and 19 using a blood pressure drug increased by 15.4 percent even as the number of females in the age group taking the drugs, called antihypertensives, declined by 1.6 percent.
Conversely, the number of females between 15 and 19 taking an anti-depressant increased by 6.8 percent while, for males in the same age group, utilization declined slightly.........
Adult type 2 diabetes : exercise seems good
Type 2 diabetes leaves a person at danger of having elevated levels of sugar (glucose) in their blood. This high sugar content then causes damage to blood vessels, which in turn harms a number of organs including the eyes, nerves, kidneys and heart.
When people are first diagnosed with this disease they are given dietary advice in the hope that this will enable them to take more control over the level of sugar in their blood. However, after searching published scientific literature, a team of Cochrane Scientists was unable to find high quality data that showed whether dietary advice did indeed alter the risk of developing long-term complications, affect overall quality of life or the likelihood of dying.
We did find 36 published articles that reported work from 18 different trials which included a total of 1467 people with type 2 diabetes, but only a minority of these trials examined hard clinical endpoints such as death or vascular disease, and those that did offered no details; most talked about factors that are easier to measure such as weight or blood sugar control, says lead researcher Nield, a researcher at the University of Teesside in Middlesbrough, UK.........
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Type-2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, accounting for 90% of cases diabetes. This disease affects nearly 17 million Americans and is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. Even though 17 million Americans have type-2 diabetes only half of these people are aware that they have diabetes. The death rate in patients with diabetes may be up to 11 times higher than in persons without the disease. The occurrence of diabetes in persons 45 to 64 years of age is 7 percent, but the proportion increases significantly in persons 65 years of age or older. Type-2 diabetes accounts for more than 90% of all diabetes worldwide.
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