Diabetes is a life-long disorder that affects the way your body handles glucose, a kind of sugar, in your blood. Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces.Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar. Hyperglycaemia or raised blood sugar, is a common effect of uncontrolled diabetes and over time leads to serious damage to many of the body's systems, especially the nerves and blood vessels.
There are two main types of diabetes :
Type 1 diabetes– where the body's immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin
Type 2 diabetes – where the body doesn't produce enough insulin, or the body's cells don't react to insulin
Generally most people with the condition have type-2. Around 422 million people in the world have been suffering from diabetes and there are about 29.1 million people in the U.S. with it. Another90 million have prediabetes: Their blood glucose is not normal, but not high enough to be diabetes yet.
Common Symptoms for type-2 diabetes
Go to your doctor as soon as possible if you experience the main symptoms of diabetes, which include:
- Feeling very thirsty
- Urinating more frequently than usual, particularly at night
- Feeling very tired
- Weight loss and loss of muscle bulk
- Itching around the penis or vagina, or frequent episodes of thrush
- Cuts or wounds that heal slowly
- Blurred vision
The new gene findings for type-2 diabetes
The new research on type-2 diabetes is doing by a scientist team of The United Kingdom. Now the UK scientist team has discovered a gene that aids the destruction of insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, contributing to type-2 diabetes. The new gene is called TNFR5.
Publishing their findings in the journal “Cell Death and Disease”, the researchers reveal how blocking the gene -called TNFR5 - halted the destruction process, a discovery that could lead to new treatments for type 2 diabetes.
According to the American Diabetes Association, around 29.1 million Americans are living with diabetes.
The majority of these cases are type 2 diabetes, where the beta cells in the pancreas either do not produce enough insulin or the body is unable the use the insulin that is produced. Insulin is the hormone that helps regulate blood sugar levels.
While regular blood glucose testing and medications can help people with type 2diabetes manage their blood sugar levels, there is a need for more effective therapies.
Lead researcher Dr. Mark Turner, of the School of Science and Technology at Nottingham Trent University in the U.K., and colleagues believe their gene discovery may have the potential to meet this need.
The new TNFR5 gene can destroys beta cells
The researchers says it is well established that long-term exposure to a high-fat and high-sugar diet can exacerbate destruction of beta cells among people with type-2 diabetes, but the mechanisms behind this process have been unclear.
For their research, Dr. Turner and colleagues set out to determine whether there isa genetic explanation.
By applying high-density micro array analysis, the scientists evaluated more than31,000 genes associated with the pancreas, with the aim of pinpointing which ones were most sensitive to glucose and fatty acids - the products of diets high in fat and sugar.
The research team found that the gene TNFR5 had the highest sensitivity to glucose and fatty acids and over expression of this gene in response to high levels of fat and sugar led to beta cell destruction.
Chief scientist of this study says the findings suggest that people with type 2diabetes - particularly those with poor blood glucose management or who haven't been diagnosed - are more likely to over express the TNFR5 gene, and,therefore, beta cell damage is exacerbated.
However there is some good news; in laboratory tests, the team found that blockingTNFR5 in beta cells exposed to glucose and fatty acids halted their destruction. This suggests that inhibiting TNFR5 activity could be a promising treatment strategy for type 2 diabetes.
"We believe we have found one of the key early events that lead to the decline of insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells caused by high levels of sugar and fat.
As such the gene may represent an important target in the search for new drug intervention strategies, which if successful, could help preserve pancreatic function and help control blood sugar levels in patients with type 2diabetes." says Dr. Turner.