Next up in the news is a look at another piece of research having to do with predicting type 2 diabetes. Can we devise a test that will determine who with obesity will develop diabetes later in life? That is the question addressed by this research. Boston University School of Medicine researchers looked at what they call the “fingerprint of inflammation” to make this prediction.
Defining Pre-Diabetes Diagnosis
The groundbreaking diabetes research may redefine what we use to identify pre-diabetic states in our patients. They do this by looking at an apparent relationship between our inflammatory response and blood sugar levels over the long term. Since traditional anti-inflammatory drugs have not proven very effective at treating diabetes, the researchers looked at the entirety of the inflammatory process and all of the proteins involved using a special mathematical model to determine where in the process the correlation exists.
Researchers found that a protein linked to autoimmune diseases called Th17 was found to be most often linked to type 2 diabetes in patients. This marker could be used to track progression of the early stages of the disease in an effort to reverse effects prior to onset. The protein marker appears to be around 75% predictive and more research needs to be done on this before a definitive test will be developed.
Ambitious 2025 Diabetes WHO Goal
Still this is another potential tool in the box for us to use in the near future for helping to stave off this worldwide epidemic of type 2 diabetes. The World Health Organization (WHO) has set a target of 2025 to halt the rise in diabetes incidence around the world. That gives us all just ten years to help manage our patients’ (and our own) weight, diet, lifestyles to help reach this ambitious target. This isn’t a target to cure the disease, but a target to halt the steep annual increases in the disease.
This research into potential predictive biomarkers is an important step in the right direction, but it is only a single step, a single piece in a puzzle with hundreds of pieces that must fall into place. Many of those pieces rest in the control of individual health professionals just like each of you.
Make sure you follow-up on the links for this news item and all of the other news and additional resource links from this week’s episode – Diabetes Vision Loss Risks Mitigated and Episode 373.