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UF to establish Faroe Island research center with help of baseball star
Date:5/9/2012

, such as high blood pressure and high levels of fats called triglycerides. Because Faroese people consume mostly fish, meat and root vegetables there is only one fast food restaurant in the country the high prevalence of high cholesterol and high triglycerides among the population is a mystery, Weinstein said.

Working in collaboration with the Faroese government and scientists there, UF researchers will study not only glycogen storage disease but also how it may link to some of these other common problems.

"The textbooks all say when you are a carrier for genetic diseases, that you are normal and have no effects," Weinstein said. "We think the textbooks are wrong. We have evidence already from dogs that are carriers for GSD here that carriers of disease have mild manifestations. The way it may present is as high cholesterol and high triglycerides or it may be a cause of kidney stones. Common problems we deal with all the time may be due to being a carrier for this disease. This study will help not only islanders but could show that we should be treating common disorders in a different way."

For example, if a link is found between glycogen storage disease and high cholesterol, the research may show that precise doses of cornstarch the common treatment for some types of GSD could be a safer and more effective treatment to combat cholesterol in carriers than the medications currently used, Weinstein said.

With no other foundations funding type III glycogen storage disease research, the Johnny Damon Foundation's continuing support and $16,000 donation earmarked specifically for the new research center is particularly significant, Weinstein said.

"For us, this donation was an opportunity to support research that could make a difference in the lives of children living with what can be a devastating disease without the right therapy," said Arden Czyzewski, executive director of the Johnny Damon Foundation. "We are also excit
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Contact: April Frawley Birdwell
afrawley@ufl.edu
352-273-5817
University of Florida
Source:Eurekalert

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