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Genetic breakthrough explains dangerously high blood glucose levels
Date:5/1/2008

f McGills Faculty of Medicine, the Department of Human Genetics, the MUHC Research Institute and the McGill University and Gnome Qubec Innovation Centre. Five per cent may not sound huge, but for complex traits, thats rather a lot. By contrast, hundreds of different genes influence height.

These findings provide important insights into the genetic mechanisms behind glucose metabolism, say the researchers, which they predict will lead to greater understanding of the genetic roots of metabolic disorders in general. In theory, any medical test which has a genetic component can use this approach, Sladek explained. That brings us to the idea of personalized medicine. Eventually, we might be able to customize treatment to an individuals unique genetic structure.

High blood glucose levels are also closely linked with increased risk for cardiovascular disease, and these findings hold out of the hope of discovering new management techniques and treatments. Its important to know that a high blood glucose level, even within the normal and non-diabetic range, is a risk factor for early mortality, explains Dr. Philippe Froguel of Imperial College and CNRS. Epidemiological studies have shown that 80 per cent of the risk of cardiovascular disease is related to a blood glucose level just above the average.

Obviously, the next step would be to get some collaborators on the heart disease side, and see whether some of these other genes might also play a role, added Dr. Sladek.

We are proud of this announcement, which once again confirms the scientific excellence and talent of Qubecs scientists, said Paul LArchevque, President and CEO of Gnome Qubec. These findings, which are the direct result of studies co-financed by Gnome Qubec, clearly show the strategic role of genomics in the search for solutions to improve human health. We would also like to underline the cooperation among the institutes, an initiative that made this major advance possible. Co
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Contact: Mark Shainblum
mark.shainblum@mcgill.ca
514-398-2189
McGill University
Source:Eurekalert

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