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Hopkins team discovers sweet way to detect prediabetes
Date:7/8/2010

enter in collaboration with Christopher D. Saudek, M.D. and characterized as normal (36 samples), prediabetes (13 samples) and type 2 diabetes (53 samples) according to traditional tests that require patient fasting. Defined as normal hemoglobin A1c with impaired fasting glucose, prediabetes is an intermediate state of altered glucose metabolism with a heightened risk of developing type 2 diabetes and other associated complications.

Then, she measured and compared the amount of the enzyme protein within the red cells associated with the sugar molecule, O-GlcNAc.

"When I checked the enzyme levels and saw how dramatically different they were between the prediabetic cells and the controls, I thought I did something wrong," Park says. "I repeated the test five times until I could believe it myself."

Hart speculates that in diabetes and prediabetes, it's not a good thing for the increased amount of sugar to be attached to proteins, so the cell is responding by elevating the enzyme that gets rid of it.

"This is an example of how basic research is directly affecting a serious disease," Hart says, adding that his team's pilot studies encourage further investigation of a method that potentially could fill the void that currently exists for an easy, accurate routine test for prediabetes. "Only a much larger clinical trial will determine if, by measuring O-GlcNAcase, we can accurately diagnose prediabetes."


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Contact: Maryalice Yakutchik
myakutc1@jhmi.edu
443-287-2251
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Source:Eurekalert

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