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article imageGenetic link to type 2 diabetes traced

By Tim Sandle     Feb 16, 2014 in Science
Seven new genetic regions associated with type 2 diabetes have been identified. This has come from the largest study to date of the genetic basis of the diabetes.
For the study, DNA data was brought together from more than 48,000 patients and 139,000 healthy controls. From this, the research team have pinpointed areas that show strong links to elevated levels of insulin and glucose in the body -- two key characteristics of type 2 diabetes.
So, by combining over 3 million sets of DNA data from many tens of thousands of individuals, the consortium was able to detect, for the first time, regions where the effects on diabetes susceptibility are hard to spot.
Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder that is characterized by high blood glucose in the context of insulin resistance and relative insulin deficiency. The classic symptoms are excess thirst, frequent urination, and constant hunger. Type 2 diabetes makes up about 90 percent of cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is initially managed by increasing exercise and dietary modification. If blood glucose levels are not adequately lowered by these measures, medications such as metformin or insulin may be needed.
The aim of the research is to aim develop novel therapies to treat and prevent diabetes. The new research was conducted by an international consortium of investigators from 20 countries on four continents, co-led by investigators from Oxford University's Wellcome Trust Center for Human Genetics. The findings have been published in Nature Genetics, in a paper titled “Genome-wide trans-ancestry meta-analysis provides insight into the genetic architecture of type 2 diabetes susceptibility.”
More about Diabetes, Genetics, type 2 diabetes, Genes
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