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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Diabetes research: Researchers Find Gene That Causes Resistance To Insulin

One of the major areas of focus for Diabetes research is to identify the precise reasons (including genetic reasons) for the multiple factors that go towards making a person afflited with Type 2 diabetes. These could be geared towards identifying why the body stops making insulin (or makes it in reduced quantities), or to identify as to why the body develops insulin resistance, which means the body is unable to pick up glucose from the blood stream. This particular research is geared towards identifying the genetic reasons that make the body stop responding to insulin present in the bloodstream. The gene reduces the effect of insulin already present in the muscles, liver and fat of the affected person (link to article):

Unlike most of the genes that have been shown to cause diabetes, the new gene, called Insulin Receptor Substrate 1 (IRS1), doesn't affect how insulin is created in the pancreas, but rather, how the body responds to insulin already in the bloodstream. IRS1 has to do with the function of the other tissues in the body. Rather than reduce production of insulin, this gene reduces the effect of insulin in muscles, liver and fat, a process called insulin resistance.
Sladek hopes this discovery may lead to new therapeutic lines of attack in the future. "It's possible that in diabetic patients, the signal to turn this gene on and off might be impaired. But we might be able to use one of the other pathways to turn it on," he said.

All this research is geared towards ensuring that medical science develops a much deeper understanding of why the body goes towards insulin resistance, and whether there is a genetic reason that can be repaired.

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