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New advances in lipid genetics lead to better detection and prevention of major diseases
Date:5/29/2011

portance for the production of dhCer. "Through whole genome sequencing, we are now attempting to identify this causal gene in the hope that it will be informative in the understanding of the pathogenesis of diabetes, and also suggest new avenues for treatment," Dr. Curran says.

In the future, the researchers say, measurement of dhCer levels could become routine in the prediction of individuals likely to become diabetic. One of the difficulties of the current predictive methods is that they do not function until a patient is near to developing the disease. Being able to identify those at risk at the earliest stage would mean that individuals have plenty of time to make the lifestyle changes that could help them avoid the disease through a change in diet, or increasing physical activity, for example.

"Currently one in ten US adults suffers from diabetes and recently the Centers for Disease Control has predicted that this will increase to one in three by 2050", says Dr. Curran. "We are optimistic that our discovery will lead to new treatments, but in the short-term the importance of finding out at an early stage whether any individual is likely to develop it cannot be overstated. A test based on dhCer levels will help to avoid the serious health effects that diabetes has in its own right, such as kidney failure, amputations, and blindness. It is, of course, also a risk for cardiovascular disease, so the health burden of this condition is enormous", she concludes.

In the second study, Dr. Sara Willems, from the Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, will describe to the conference research carried out on the influence of common genetic lipid variants on atherosclerosis and related heart disease. "A recent genome-wide meta-analysis of more than 100,000 individuals identified a large number of genetic variants associated with levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol, HDL (good) cholesterol and triglycerides. These molecules are, at
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Contact: Mary Rice
mary.rice@riceconseil.eu
European Society of Human Genetics
Source:Eurekalert

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