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Experts advocate realigning type 2 diabetes treatments with disease's natural history
Date:10/6/2010

Chevy Chase, MD A new consensus statement published in the September, 2010, issue of The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM) finds that the increasing recognition that beta-cell failure occurs much earlier and severely than commonly believed suggests that regular glycemia screening, early identification of patients at metabolic risk and prompt and aggressive intervention deserves greater emphasis.

The consensus statement is based on the findings of a working group of basic researchers, clinical endocrinologists and primary care physicians convened by The Endocrine Society, to consider whether current knowledge regarding pancreatic beta-cell defects justifies retargeting and retiming treatment for diabetes in clinical practice.

"There is widespread evidence that conventional approaches to the management of type 2 diabetes have been inadequate," said Jack L. Leahy, MD, of the Vermont Regional Diabetes Center in South Burlington, and one of the authors of the consensus statement. "Studies have increasingly shown that beta-cells have an important role in the progression of diabetes and if we could gain a better understanding of that role, we may be able to develop new and effective means of treatment. To that end, working group members advocate for continued basic research to elucidate the nature and mechanisms of beta-cell failure in type 2 diabetes."

Evidence from both human and animal studies suggests that type 2 diabetes is characterized by dysfunctional beta-cells that cannot adapt insulin secretion to compensate for increasing insulin resistance. Beta-cell failure is believed to occur at an early stage in the progression of diabetes, and accumulating evidence suggests that the decline in beta-cell function may be slowed or even reversed, particularly if addressed early.

"Another recommendation of the working group is to explore new educational approaches to promote pat
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Contact: Aaron Lohr
alohr@endo-society.org
240-482-1380
The Endocrine Society
Source:Eurekalert

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