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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


November 6, 2006, 4:32 AM CT

Children's Belly Fat Increases More Than 65 Percent

Children's Belly Fat Increases More Than 65 Percent
Abdominal obesity increased more than 65 percent among boys and almost 70 percent among girls between 1988 and 2004. The finding of growing girth is significant because abdominal obesity has emerged as a better predictor of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes risk than the more usually used Body Mass Index, a weight to height ratio that can sometimes be misleading.

As the first nationally representative study to document the increase in children's belly fat, the study in today's Pediatrics paints a bleak picture for these children who have a higher risk of heart disease, adult-onset diabetes and metabolic syndrome. The good news is that, for children and adolescents, the health effects are often reversible through improved lifestyle for weight loss.

"Kids, teens and adults who have early stages of atherosclerosis in their arteries can have a healthy cardiovascular system again," said Stephen Cook, M.D., an assistant professor of Pediatrics at the University of Rochester Medical Center's Golisano Children's Hospital at Strong and an author of the study about childhood abdominal obesity. "Elderly adults who have plaque build up have a much harder battle, particularly if the plaque has calcified".

Measuring waist circumference is not a "vital sign" normally taken in a visit to the doctor. A BMI is usually calculated at a well visit, but there are limitations to those measurements. A very muscular person may register a high BMI score, even if he is very healthy and has an average waist circumference. On the flip side, a sedentary child may not register a very high BMI score, but if he carries a lot of fat around his middle, he may be at a higher risk for health problems than other children with the same BMI score.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


October 15, 2006, 7:37 PM CT

Physicians Hinder Use Of Cutting Edge Technology In Diabetes

Physicians Hinder Use Of Cutting Edge Technology In Diabetes
Diabetic patients who use newer technologies such as insulin pumps and blood glucose monitoring devices are better able to manage their disease and adhere to therapy regimens, with less daily pain, than with conventional therapys, as per Duke University researchers. Yet scientists have observed that the newer methods to manage diabetes are not being widely used because physicians may be reluctant to prescribe them, and even patients who are using them may not be deriving their full benefits.

As per the Duke researchers, the lack of strong scientific evidence on the efficacy of newer devices, combined with insufficient patient-education resources for physicians and their patients, hinders the diffusion of new devices and contributes to their incorrect use. In addition, the scientists pointed to the higher costs of newer medical technologies and the demographics of diabetes as probable causes of low usage - i.e., its disproportionate prevalence among racial and ethnic minorities, persons of low socioeconomic status, and the elderly.

These findings have emerged from a literature review conducted by the Medical Technology Assessment Working Group at Duke University, focusing on technologies used to monitor glucose and deliver insulin outside of conventional methods, such as daily injections and finger stick tests.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


October 15, 2006, 6:47 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 28, 2006, 9:48 PM CT

Pecan Way To Health

Pecan Way To Health
A new research study from Loma Linda University (LLU) shows that adding just a handful of pecans to your diet each day may inhibit unwanted oxidation of blood lipids, thus helping reduce the risk of heart disease. Scientists suggest that this positive effect was in part due to the pecan's significant content of vitamin E.

"Plant foods, including pecans, are rich sources of phytochemicals that can have a unique effect on the body," says LLU researcher Ella Haddad, DrPH, associate professor, department of nutrition, School of Public Health.

Pecans contain different forms of vitamin E known as tocopherols which protects fats from oxidation. Pecans are particularly rich in one form of vitamin E gamma tocopherol.

"We observed that eating pecans increased levels of gamma tocopherol concentrations in the blood and subsequently reduced a marker of lipid oxidation," adds Dr. Haddad.

Oxidation of fats in the blood a process akin to rusting is detrimental to health. When the "bad" cholesterol becomes oxidized, it is more likely to build up and result in arteriosclerosis.

These latest research findings on pecan's healthfulness were reported in the latest issue of Nutrition Research, just released this week. They are from the second phase of a research project designed to evaluate the health benefits of pecans, as per Dr. Haddad. She analyzed blood samples from study participants (a total of 23 men and women between the ages of 25 and 55) who ate two diets: one that contained pecans and one that did not. Participants were randomly placed on either the American Heart Association's Step I diet or a pecan-enriched version of the Step I diet. (The pecan-enriched diet was similar to the Step I diet but replaced 20 percent of calories with pecans). After four weeks on one diet, they then switched to the other diet.........

Posted by: Janet      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 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 14, 2006, 5:02 AM CT

Transplant Cures Rat's Type 2 Diabetes

Transplant Cures Rat's Type 2 Diabetes
An approach proven to cure a rat model of type 1 or juvenile-onset diabetes also works in a rat model of type 2 or adult-onset diabetes, as per a new report from scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

"Finding that we can cure type 2 diabetes in the same way is very significant because in humans type 2 diabetes is almost 20 times more prevalent than type 1 diabetes," says senior author Marc R. Hammerman, M.D., the Chromalloy Professor of Renal Diseases in Medicine. "There are about 200 million type 2 diabetics worldwide, and the incidence is rapidly increasing."

The therapy approach transplants precursors of the pancreas from embryonic pigs. In a prior study, Hammerman and co-developer Sharon A. Rogers, research instructor in medicine, showed that they could transplant the cells in a way that lets them grow into insulin producers without triggering attacks by the rats' immune systems. This cured the rats' diabetes without the risky immune suppression drugs mandatory to prevent rejection in other transplant-based therapys.

The results appear online and will be published in Transplant Immunology.

Hammerman and Rogers are leaders in the emerging field of organogenesis, which focuses on growing organs from stem cells and other embryonic cell clusters known as organ primordia. Unlike embryonic stem cells, which can become virtually any cell type, primordia are locked into becoming cells of a particular organ.........

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


September 13, 2006, 5:02 AM CT

Added Benefit Of Statins

Added Benefit Of Statins
UC Davis scientists have shown that statins not only improve cholesterol levels, but also dramatically reduce disease-causing inflammation in patients with metabolic syndrome - a condition defined by symptoms that include abdominal obesity and high blood pressure.

The study, published online in the September 12 issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, offers new hope to the one in four Americans with metabolic syndrome who have double the risk of developing heart disease and are five times more likely to develop diabetes.

"Changes in diet and exercise, resulting in weight loss are still the therapy of choice for preventing the consequences of metabolic syndrome," said Kenny Jialal, a professor of internal medicine at UC Davis Health System and director of the Laboratory for Atherosclerosis and Metabolic Research. "However, people don't always adhere to those changes. Our results suggest that statin may be a way to forestall the deadly complications of metabolic syndrome".

Statins are a class of drugs used to prevent and treat heart disease. They work by lowering cholesterol levels and preventing atherosclerosis, the blockage of blood vessels due to plaque build-up. Previously, Jialal's group showed that statins, as a class of drugs, are anti-inflammatory. Typically since the metabolic syndrome, is characterized by low-grade inflammation and insulin resistance, they decided to look at the direct effect of statins on inflammation in these patients.........

Posted by: Daniel      Permalink         Source



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Type-2 Diabetes
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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