A genomic study of diabetics may prove to be a crucial intervention in diabetes treatment. There are about five distinct groups of DNA sites that affect diabetes mellitus in unique ways, which is why every diabetic should have a personalised therapy tailored to each person's physiology, says a study published in the journal PLOS Medicine. Doing so, would help people manage their diabetes better.
Scientists from the Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US analysed genomic data of diabetics with a computational tool that incorporates genetic complexity. The researchers identified five distinct groups of DNA sites that appear to drive distinct forms of the illness in unique ways.
"When treating type 2 diabetes, we have a dozen or so medications we can use, but after you start someone on the standard algorithm, it's primarily trial and error," said senior author Jose Florez. "We need a more granular approach that addresses the many different molecular processes leading to high blood sugar."
"We need a more granular approach that addresses the many different molecular processes leading to high blood sugar," said Florez, also a professor at Harvard Medical School.
Experts have demonstrated that type 2 diabetes can be broadly grouped into cases driven either by the inability of pancreatic beta cells to make enough insulin, known as insulin deficiency, or by the inability of liver, muscle or fat tissues to use insulin properly, known as insulin resistance.
Through previous studies, researchers have attempted to define more subtypes of type 2 diabetes based on indicators such as beta-cell function, insulin resistance, or body-mass index. However the only glitch here is that these traits can vary greatly through life and during the course of the condition.
Subtypes based on DNA variations are expected to make things easier. In the case of inherited genetic differences, these differences are present at birth, therefore could prove to be a more reliable method to analyse diabetes associated risks.
The scientists explained that these variations can be grouped into clusters based on how they impact diabetes-related traits; five clusters of genetic variants distinguished by distinct underlying cellular processes, within the existing major divisions of insulin-resistant and insulin-deficient disease were identified by the researchers.
Data was collected from four independent cohorts of patients with type 2 diabetes and first calculated the patients' individual genetic risk scores for each cluster.
The findings revealed that about one-third number patients scored highly for only one predominant cluster, indicating that their diabetes may be driven predominantly by a single biological mechanism.
Type 2 diabetes is a condition where the pancreas cannot make enough insulin, which affects the way the body processes blood sugar and causes blood sugar levels to fluctuate. If left untreated, diabetes can also cause obesity, heart and kidney complications. some foods people with type 2 diabetes are often recommended to include in their diet to manage blood sugar are non-starchy vegetables, low-fat plain milk and yogurt, tomatoes, blueberries, oranges and other citrus fruits.
(With Inputs ANI)