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Feb 23,2007
Lifewire: Genetic breakthrough could benefit those with Type 2 diabetes
by Amy Winter

A joint English-Canadian research team has discovered genetic markers that can identify people predisposed toward developing Type 2 diabetes.

The group believes these discoveries will help them to understand up to 70 percent of the disease's genetic background, and can help prevent people from developing Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease.

The research is published online in the journal Nature.

Led by scientists from Imperial College London and Canada's McGill University, researchers from several international colleges identified the genetic structure of this disease. Four points on these genetic maps show the risk a person has in getting Type 2 diabetes.

"Until now, progress in understanding how genes influence disease has been painfully slow," said study co-author David Balding, professor of genetical statistics at Imperial College. "This study is one of the first large studies to report results using the new genome-wide technology that governments and research charities have invested heavily in during the past few years."

Researchers found one mutation that might help provide new treatments. This mutation is called SLC30A8; it is a specific zinc carrier that assists with insulin secretion. The research group theorizes that repairing this carrier could treat Type 2 diabetes.

"The two major reasons why people develop Type 2 diabetes are obesity and a family link," said Philippe Froguel, of Imperial College's division of medicine. "Our new findings mean we can create a good genetic test to predict people's risk of developing the disorder."

There are 20.8 million children and adults in the United States, or 7 percent of the population, who have diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. An estimated 14.6 million Americans have been diagnosed with diabetes. Unfortunately, 6.2 million are unaware they have the disease.

Froguel believes that if individuals know they are more likely to get diabetes, they might be more encouraged to change their lifestyle.

"If we can tell someone that their genetics mean they are predisposed toward Type 2 diabetes," said Froguel. "They will be much more motivated to change things such as diet to reduce their chances of developing the disorder. We can also use what we know about the specific genetic mutations associated with Type 2 diabetes to develop better treatments."

Type 2 diabetes occurs when sugar collects in the blood instead of the cells, according to the American Diabetes Association Web site ( www.diabetes.org). Type 2 diabetics make insulin, which takes glucose from the blood to the cells; however, their bodies do not react properly to it.

Hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia are two of the problems associated with Type 2 diabetes.

Hyperglycemia is a scientific way of saying your blood sugar is too high. It occurs when the body fails to produce enough insulin or can't process the insulin it produces in the correct way.

In order to control hyperglycemia, diabetics must routinely monitor their blood sugar. When they need to reduce their blood sugar, exercising and modifying their eating habits to reduce sugar, high-fructose corn syrup and reducing portion size can help. If hyperglycemia isn't controlled, a disorder called ketoacidosis or diabetic coma can occur, says the ADA. This condition causes the bodies of diabetics to produce energy by breaking down fats instead of glucose for energy.

Symptoms of hyperglycemia are:

- The need to urinate more often

- Increased levels of sugar in the urine

- High blood sugar

On the other hand, hypoglycemia is the scientific way of saying your blood sugar is too low. Hypoglycemia is also known as "insulin reaction," says the ADA.

Hypoglycemia can be treated by routinely monitoring blood sugar levels. In order to raise sugar levels, a diabetic needs to consume some type of sugar, such as the fructose found in fruit juice.

Symptoms of hypoglycemia are:

- Dizziness.

- Hunger.

- Shaking.

- Sweating.

Type-2 diabetes leads to other complications if not treated. According to the ADA, these problems are:

- Heart disease and stroke.

- Kidney failure.

- Neuropathy, or damage to the nerves in the feet.

- Depression.

- Skin problems affect one-third of diabetics.

Type 2 diabetes can be prevented through a healthy diet and more exercise. A recent large, double-blind diabetes prevention program study performed by the ADA found diabetics who exercised 30 minutes a day and lost 5 percent to 10 percent of body weight decreased their diabetes symptoms by 58 percent.

A healthy diet designed to prevent Type 2 diabetes would include three to five daily servings of fruits and vegetables, whole-grain foods, fish two to three times a week and nonfat dairy products. Sugary desserts and candy should be kept to a minimum. People wishing to lower their risk of developing diabetes should also limit their intake of beverages that contain alcohol, sugar or high-fructose corn syrup in favor of diet drinks or water.

© Copley News Service

1541 times read

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  • WHETHER YOU ARE HEALTHY OR DISEASED, DO NOT SIT AT EASE BECAUSE TIME HAS ALSO COME TO TACKLE TYPE-3 DIABETESE Although much has already been discovered, much more remains to be discovered about TYPE-1 and TYPE-2 DIABETES, but now it is the turn for TYPE-3 DIABETES. Scientists say they may have discovered a previously unknown form of diabetes, after finding that brain also produces insulin just like the pancreas. Unlike other types of diabetes, the form, dubbed as TYPE-3 DIABETES by the United States’ Brown Medical School Team, is actually not thought to affect the blood sugar. TYPE -3 is supposed to affect the brain insulin levels, and appears to be linked with ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE. The research team, lead by Dr. Ms. Suzanne De La Monte and her colleagues appeared in the Journal Of Alzheimer’s Disease in the year 2005. Type 1 and type 2 diabetes occur when the body is unable to produce or use insulin from the pancreas. The so-called TYPE-3 diabetes refers to lower than normal levels of newly discovered BRAIN INSULIN, which appears to be associated with Alzheimer’s disease in some way. Scientists have known for some time that people with diabetes have an increased risk of ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE - by up to 65%. Scientists have also discovered that many type 2 diabetics have deposits of a protein in their pancreas which is similar to the protein deposits found in the brain tissue of people with ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE. Research has been going on to find out what links the two conditions. By looking at rodents and post-mortem brain tissue from people with Alzheimer’s disease they have found that insulin and its related proteins are actually produced in the brain, and that reduced levels of both are linked to ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE. They say this insulin and its related growth factors and receptors in the brain are vital for the survival of BRAIN CELLS. If they are not produced at normal levels, the death of cells is certain. In the case of Alzheimer’s, the cells that die are located in the part of the brain involved with memory, called the HIPPOCAMPUS. These abnormalities do not correspond to type 1 or type 2 diabetes, but reflect a different and more complex disease process that originates in the central nervous system. The implication is that treating type 1 or type 2 diabetes may have no impact on Alzheimer’s disease. The author of the research said : “We believe that therapeutic agents need to be designed that specifically influence the actions of insulin in the brain”. There is some evidence to suggest that poorly controlled diabetes also affects the functioning of the brain. However, far more research on a link between Alzheimer’s and diabetes is needed before one can draw any firm conclusions. Scientists have suggested that the link could be down to molecular changes affected by insulin.
  • (Posted on February 26, 2007, 9:35 am G. S. JOHAR)

  • WHETHER YOU ARE HEALTHY OR DISEASED, DO NOT SIT AT EASE BECAUSE TIME HAS ALSO COME TO TACKLE TYPE-3 DIABETESE American researchers, in the year 2004, had advised the people suffering from type 2 diabetes to skip any cup of coffee with their meal, otherwise, their diabetes would become worse. The study, lead by DR. JAMES LANE, at Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina, USA, found that there is a strong correlation between caffeine consumption at mealtime and elevated glucose and insulin levels afterwards. The scientists found that for those suffering from type 2 diabetes, their bodies either do not produce enough insulin, or cells ignore whatever insulin is present. Insulin is crucial to the ability of the body to convert food into energy. Although much has already been discovered, much more remains to be discovered about TYPE-1 and TYPE-2 DIABETES, but now it is the turn for TYPE-3 DIABETES. Scientists say they may have discovered a previously unknown form of diabetes, after finding that brain also produces insulin just like the pancreas. Unlike other types of diabetes, the form, dubbed as TYPE-3 DIABETES by the United States’ Brown Medical School Team, is actually not thought to affect the blood sugar. TYPE -3 is supposed to affect the brain insulin levels, and appears to be linked with ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE. The research team, lead by Dr. Ms. Suzanne De La Monte and her colleagues appeared in the Journal Of Alzheimer’s Disease in the year 2005. Type 1 and type 2 diabetes occur when the body is unable to produce or use insulin from the pancreas. The so-called TYPE-3 diabetes refers to lower than normal levels of newly discovered BRAIN INSULIN, which appears to be associated with Alzheimer’s disease in some way. Scientists have known for some time that people with diabetes have an increased risk of ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE - by up to 65%. Scientists have also discovered that many type 2 diabetics have deposits of a protein in their pancreas which is similar to the protein deposits found in the brain tissue of people with ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE. Research has been going on to find out what links the two conditions. By looking at rodents and post-mortem brain tissue from people with Alzheimer’s disease they have found that insulin and its related proteins are actually produced in the brain, and that reduced levels of both are linked to ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE. They say this insulin and its related growth factors and receptors in the brain are vital for the survival of BRAIN CELLS. If they are not produced at normal levels, the death of cells is certain. In the case of Alzheimer’s, the cells that die are located in the part of the brain involved with memory, called the HIPPOCAMPUS. These abnormalities do not correspond to type 1 or type 2 diabetes, but reflect a different and more complex disease process that originates in the central nervous system. The implication is that treating type 1 or type 2 diabetes may have no impact on Alzheimer’s disease. The author of the research said : “We believe that therapeutic agents need to be designed that specifically influence the actions of insulin in the brain”. There is some evidence to suggest that poorly controlled diabetes also affects the functioning of the brain. However, far more research on a link between Alzheimer’s and diabetes is needed before one can draw any firm conclusions. Scientists have suggested that the link could be down to molecular changes affected by insulin. The work funded by the ALZHEIMER’S RESEARCH TRUST is currently investigating the way insulin acts on the brain and should improve our understanding of Alzheimer’s and hopefully lead to way to new treatments.
  • (Posted on February 26, 2007, 9:35 am G. S. JOHAR)

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