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February 13, 2007, 9:50 PM CT

Elucidation of the genome for diabetics

Elucidation of the genome for diabetics
The genome of patients with type 2 diabetes (DT2) has been elucidated, for the first time, thanks to the use of new DNA chip technologies allowing 400,000 DNA mutations to be studied simultaneously. New genes conferring a predisposition to DT2 have been identified. They include the zinc transporter of pancreatic insulin-secreting cells (ZnT8), which is a potential target for therapy. This study of the French population was carried out as a French-British-Canadian collaboration between the teams directed by Philippe Froguel (CNRS, University of Lille 2, Pasteur Institute, Imperial College London) and Rob Sladek (McGill University, Montreal, Canada). About 70% of the genetic risk of DT2 is accounted for by these new discoveries, published online in Nature on February 11 2007. This work opens up entirely new avenues of prevention and therapy for this disease.

There are more than 200 million diabetics worldwide, and it has been predicted that this number will double by 2030. This increase in the number of diabetics is associated with the obesity epidemic, which currently affects 1.1 thousand million people, including 150 million children. However, heredity also makes a major contribution to the development of DT2. Abnormalities in insulin secretion appear very early in the children of diabetic parents. These individuals become hyperglycaemic when they put on weight and are resistant to the insulin they produce. The team of Philippe Froguel was the first to identify a gene linked to DT2 that encoding glucokinase in 1992. Several other such genes have since been discovered, but together these genes account for only a small proportion of DT2 cases. Insufficient knowledge of the human genome and the absence of cheap, simple-to-use, rapid analytical techniques hampered progress in medical research for a number of years. The recent sequencing of the human genome and the establishment of a complete map of DNA variations in the human species have finally made it possible to explore genetic predisposition to DT2 in its entirety. In 2006, a revolutionary genetic analysis technique was developed in the United States. This method is based on the use of DNA chips, with a surface of only a few square centimetres, carrying almost half a million DNA mutations. Each of these chips can be used to dissect the entire genome of an individual.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


November 30, 2006, 4:38 AM CT

Metabolic Syndrome May Be Treatable With Malaria Drug

Metabolic Syndrome May Be Treatable With Malaria Drug
Studies of a rare genetic condition that increases cancer risk have unveiled a potential therapy for metabolic syndrome, a common disorder that afflicts as a number of as one in every four American adults and puts them at sharply increased risk of type 2 diabetes and clogged arteries.

Researchers know relatively little about metabolic syndrome, which is associated with a range of symptoms that include obesity, insulin resistance, high blood pressure, low levels of good cholesterol and high blood sugar levels. The number of adults and children with the condition is rising sharply in industrial countries, and diagnoses are also increasing in developing countries like India and China as they adopt Western standards of living.

In findings reported in the recent issue of Cell Metabolism, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. report that a small dose of the malaria drug chloroquine eased a number of symptoms of metabolic syndrome in mice, reducing blood pressure, decreasing hardening and narrowing of the arteries and improving blood sugar tolerance.

"We just received funding for a clinical trial, and we're very excited to see if the processes activated by chloroquine can effectively treat one of the most common health problems of modern industrialized society," says senior author Clay F. Semenkovich, M.D., professor of medicine and of cell biology and physiology at Washington University. "We already know that chloroquine is safe and well-tolerated, and our mouse results suggest we may only need very low and perhaps infrequent doses to achieve similar effects in humans."........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


November 21, 2006, 5:12 AM CT

Clues From Dragonfly About Human Obesity

Clues From Dragonfly About Human Obesity Among dragonfly (Libellula pulchella) a supposedly harmless parasite triggers metabolic disorders similar to those found in humans afflicted with insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and obesity.
Parasite-infected dragonflies suffer the same metabolic disorders that have led to an epidemic of obesity and type-2 diabetes in humans, reveal the findings of research conducted at Penn State University that are due would be reported in the 5 December 2006 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science and also in the PNAS early online edition at www.pnas.org on 21 November. The discovery expands the known taxonomic breadth of metabolic disease and suggests that the study of microbes found in human intestines may provide a greater understanding of the root causes of human metabolic dysfunction.

James Marden, professor of biology and an insect physiologist at Penn State, and Ruud Schilder, who in August 2006 earned his doctorate in biology at Penn State and is now a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Nebraska, are the first to show a non-mammalian species suffering from metabolic dysfunction in ways similar to humans. "Metabolic disease isn't some strange thing having just to do with humans," said Marden. "Animals in general suffer from these symptoms".

The work is also novel because it links metabolic disease to a supposedly harmless parasite living in the dragonfly's gut. The parasites, known as gregarines, belong to the Apicomplexa, a group of microorganisms that includes protozoa, which cause diseases like malaria and cryptosporidiosis. The dragonfly species that Marden and Schilder studied is Libellula pulchella. The microbes disrupting the dragonfly metabolism may hold clues for researchers looking for the root causes of metabolic diseases in humans, as per Marden and Schilder's paper.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


November 7, 2006, 7:08 PM CT

Enzyme For Treatment Of Diabetic Kidney Disease

Enzyme For Treatment Of Diabetic Kidney Disease
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine scientists have observed that an enzyme called ACE2 may hold the potential to treat diabetic kidney disease, the most common form of kidney disease.

In the laboratory, scientists led by Daniel Batlle, professor of medicine in the Feinberg School, chief of the nephrology/high blood pressure division and staff nephrologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, have found low levels of the ACE2 enzyme in the glomeruli of the kidneys of diabetic mice. When ACE2 was further decreased with an inhibitor drug, kidney disease worsened. Studies are now needed using compounds that increase the level of ACE2 in the kidneys of diabetic mice to see if it reverses or prevents kidney disease from developing, Batlle said.

The experiments appear in a report by Ye et. al in the recent issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Diabetes, which affects 230 million people worldwide and 21 million in the United States, is the leading cause of kidney failure. About one-third of patients with diabetes will go on to develop kidney disease. In diabetes, the small blood vessels in the kidneys are injured and the kidneys cannot clean the blood properly. In 2002, a total of 153,000 people in the U.S. with kidney failure due to diabetes were living on chronic dialysis or with a kidney transplant.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


October 15, 2006, 6:48 PM CT

High Blood Sugar Level Before Surgery Is Dangerous

High Blood Sugar Level Before Surgery Is Dangerous
Patients who have high blood sugar before undergoing surgery run an increased risk of developing blood clots, deep vein thrombosis and even pulmonary embolism after surgery.

Boris Mraovic, M.D., assistant professor of anesthesiology in the Artificial Pancreas Center at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, and colleagues examined records of nearly 6,500 hip or knee replacement surgery patients at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital who were admitted between 2003 and 2005. They asked what happened to patients with high blood sugar that wasn't well controlled previous to surgery.

Of these patients, 38 had very high blood glucose more than 250 mg/dl on the day of preoperative testing and the day of surgery. The team observed that approximately 10.5 percent of the patients with high blood sugar developed a pulmonary embolism, a life-threatening condition in which blood clots travel to the lungs, after surgery, a rate that is 6.2 times greater than would be expected in the general population. The scientists report their results on October 15, 2006 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists in Chicago.

"These data suggest that if an individual has high blood glucose and is coming for surgery, he or she should correct it first and probably postpone the surgery," says Dr. Mraovic.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


September 27, 2006, 8:20 PM CT

Islet Transplantation Has Potential Benefits

Islet Transplantation Has Potential Benefits
The results of the world's first multicenter clinical trial of islet transplantation have confirmed the technique's potential benefits in patients with difficult-to-control type 1 (or "juvenile") diabetes. Reported in the September 28, 2006 issue of the New England Journal (NEJM), the international team of researchers report that the Edmonton Protocol for islet transplantation can safely and successfully promote long-term stabilization of blood sugar levels in "brittle" diabetes patients and in some cases, relieve them of the need for insulin injections altogether for at least two years.

The multicenter study, begun in 2001, studied 36 volunteers diagnosed with brittle type 1 diabetes: patients who, despite their best efforts, had wide, unpredictable fluctuations in their blood sugar levels. Using the Edmonton Protocol for type 1 diabetes, each participant received up to three infusions of donated insulin-producing islet cells at one of 9 participating clinical centers in the US, Canada and Europe. The study was sponsored by the Immune Tolerance Network (ITN), with funding and support from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). NIAID and NIDDK are both components of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


September 24, 2006, 9:50 PM CT

Diabetes Not Obesity

Diabetes Not Obesity
Diabetes puts people who are at risk of developing critical illness and dying early, but obesity without diabetes does not. A study published recently in the open access journal Critical Care reveals that individuals suffering from diabetes are three times more at risk of developing critical illness and dying young than individuals who do not have diabetes. Obese individuals who do not have diabetes, by contrast, have the same risk of dying or of falling critically ill as non-obese patients who do not have diabetes. These results are surprising, as obesity is associated with diabetes. The authors of the study conclude that the relationship between obesity, diabetes and critical illness is complex and that obesity, per se, does not predict poor outcomes.

Katarina Slynkova and his colleagues from the University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital collaborated with colleagues from Emory University School of Medicine to analyse data from 15,408 subjects aged 44 to 66, coming from four different US communities, who had originally been studied between 1986 and 1989. The authors analysed the subjects' body mass index (BMI), presence of diabetes (either type 1 or type 2) and the subjects' history of critical illness (acute organ failure) and mortality within 3 years.

Slynkova et al.'s results show that, in the absence of diabetes, obese individuals do not have an increased risk of suffering from acute organ failure, and of dying from acute organ failure, than non-obese individuals. By contrast, patients with diabetes are three times more likely to become critically ill with acute organ failure and they are three times more likely to die from acute organ failure, or from any cause, than patients who do not have diabetes, regardless of their BMI. Slynkova et al. conclude that diabetes is a strong independent predictor of acute organ failure and subsequent death, or death from any cause.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


September 17, 2006, 10:33 PM CT

A Possible Treatment For Type 1 Diabetes

A Possible Treatment For Type 1 Diabetes
A new vaccine being tested in a human clinical trial holds a great deal of promise for treating type 1 diabetes, a disease that newly afflicts 35,000 children each year. The research that established the foundation for this vaccine was conducted in UCLA research laboratories. The drug is still being tested and is not likely to be available for at least a few years.

"It's the only thing so far that really slows this disease down without adverse side effects," Allan J. Tobin, a UCLA professor emeritus of physiological science and neurology, said about the new drug. "The amazing thing about this emerging story, however, is that it started from basic research on the brain." Tobin, whose laboratory conducted critical neuroscience research in the late 1980s and 1990s, is a member and former director of UCLA's Brain Research Institute.

Type 1 diabetes -- also known as insulin-dependent diabetes or juvenile diabetes (because it commonly begins in childhood or adolescence) -- afflicts more than 1 million Americans. Typically it is characterized by a failure of the body to produce insulin because the immune system attacks and destroys the body's insulin-producing cells of the pancreas.

On Sunday, Sept. 17, at a meeting in Copenhagen of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, Johnny Ludvigsson -- pediatrics professor at Sweden's University Hospital, Linkping University -- will present results from the phase II study conducted in eight hospitals in Sweden in collaboration with Diamyd Medical (www.diamyd.com), a life science company located in Stockholm, Sweden.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


September 13, 2006, 9:38 PM CT

Diabetics And Lower Limb Amputations

Diabetics And Lower Limb Amputations
A number of people suffering foot and leg pain falsely attribute their aches to temporary discomfort or simply "growing old," when something far more serious and often preventable is frequently taking place.

People that neglect foot and leg pain especially the 20.8 million people in the U.S. with diabetes can be at risk for amputation. This neglect has contributed to a sharp rise in amputations, with the Centers for Disease Control finding the number of diabetes-related lower limb amputations to have increased by 227 percent between 1980 (33,000) and 2003 (75,000).

Diabetics are prone to amputation as the condition often causes blood vessels in the foot and leg to narrow, causing poor circulation. This makes diabetics susceptible to infection, making it difficult for these wounds to heal. In fact, nine out of 10 non-traumatic lower extremity amputations are instigated by an infection, as per a research studyled by Texas A&M University. The American Diabetes Association says that diabetes is the most frequent cause of non-traumatic lower limb amputations.

The unfortunate result of these trends is that each year, 75,000 people lose their foot, leg or toe due to diabetes, and 85 percent of these losses could have been avoided, as per the International Diabetes Federation.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


July 4, 2006, 9:41 AM CT

Infections Link With Diabetes

Infections Link With Diabetes
A major study has added weight to the theory that environmental factors such as common infections may be a trigger for diabetes in children and young adults.

The study, the biggest of its kind, analysed information from a register of over 4,000 people aged 0-29 years old diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes over a 25-year period. The findings for young adults have not been published before.

A quarter of a million people in the UK have Type 1 diabetes, and the number of cases in children is rising by three per cent each year. It develops if the body is unable to produce any insulin and commonly appears before the age of 40.

The study authors, from Newcastle and Leeds Universities and Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, carried out a sophisticated statistical analysis using information from the register on the times and places where the children and young adults were diagnosed.

A pattern emerged where 'clusters' of cases were found at different geographical locations and time intervals for 10-19 year olds. There were six to seven per cent more cases of Type 1 diabetes found in 10-19 year olds in the clusters than would have been expected by chance.

Females with the condition were more likely to occur in clusters with seven to 14 per cent more cases than expected found in young girls and women aged 10-19 years.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source



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Did you know?
Eventhough having diabetes can sometimes feel isolating to individuals, participation in an Internet-based discussion group offers hope, inspiration and encouragement as well as bolsters people's perceived ability to cope with diabetes, according to a new study from Joslin Diabetes Center. The study, which appears in the November/recent issue of The Diabetes Educator, examined the impact of Joslin's Online Discussion Boards - forums in which people with diabetes can find information and share thoughts and experiences on specific diabetes issues.

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