New technology could predict the risk of type 2 diabetes
Issued Tue, 29 Aug 2017 000000 BST Researchers at the University of Glasgow have announced a new technologybased approach that could lead to a more accurate identification of people at high risk of type 2 diabetes. It is hoped the findings, published in PLOS ONE, could one day help tackle the global increase of type 2 diabetes, which currently affects 415 million people worldwide and is predicted to rise to 642 million by 2040. The European and US researchers have discovered potential new predictors, or “biomarkers” of diabetes, in the form of proteins and molecules called “microRNAs.” After further validation and followup, the researchers believe these could become new targets for diabetes drug development. Type 2 diabetes is a common condition characterized by high blood sugar and serious longterm complications including eye, kidney, nerve and heart disease, reducing life expectancy. It currently affects 292,000 adults in Scotland 5.4% of the population. Study lead, Professor John Petrie, Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, University of Glasgow, said “Many cases of type 2 diabetes could be prevented by earlier and more intense intervention to reduce calorie intake, increase physical activity and prevent the weight gain associated with modern lifestyles. “But a more accurate means of predicting those at greatest risk is an important part of that effort. This project is a great example of a productive collaboration between University and industry researchers, bringing cuttingedge technology to bear on an important public health issue, using carefully collected samples from wellcharacterized individuals.” In the years prior to a person developing of type 2 diabetes, cells scattered throughout their pancreas beta cells work overtime to produce extra insulin and keep blood sugar levels as normal as possible. By the time diabetes develops, these cells have become “exhausted” and no longer able to make enough insulin to process and store food. The research…
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