A study was recently published in the journal Nature by the National Institute of Health outlining the complexity of Type 2 Diabetes as a disease. It went into greater detail on the issues this disease presents in order to uncover and identify more possible options for targeted treatments.
Type 2 Diabetes is a large health concern in the world, as over ten percent of the world’s population has this disease or is at risk for developing it. There are many risk factors for Type 2 Diabetes, but up to 90% of those who suffer from the disease are overweight or obese. This is due to the added pressure put on their body’s insulin, which regulates blood sugar levels.
Previous studies that explore the aspect of genetics in Diabetes risk have shown over 80 different areas in the human genome that are associated with Type 2 Diabetes. However, little has pointed to how these genetic changes (or variants) are distributed among different populations and how these variants lead to an increased risk for the disease.
Outcome of the Study
DNA sequencing of more than 120 000 people with ancestral origins across various continents in the world were coordinated by authors who ran the study in conjunction with the National Institute of Health and head of Molecular Genetics at the Human Genome Research Institute. They were able to find evidence that suggests that most of the genetic risk of type 2 Diabetes can be attributed to common and shared genetic variants rather than many rare variants unique to each individual.
They also found that a dozen genes in those with Type 2 Diabetes had altered structural changes in their genetic coding – suggesting that genes and proteins and directly involved in the development of the disease.
This is exciting news. Now that this has been confirmed, better drug treatments and new innovative and effective surgical procedures can be put in place to target at-risk patients and better plans-of-actions can be tailored to fit individual needs. Results also show that broad genetic profiles and environmental factors must be taken into consideration in order for this effort to be successful.