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U of MD researchers receive NIH grant to study personalized medicine for genetic diabetes
Date:6/18/2014

BALTIMORE June 18, 2014. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded a four-year, $3.7 million grant to researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine to develop a personalized medicine program to help doctors diagnose and treat monogenic diabetes a form of diabetes caused by a mutation in a single gene. The study will evaluate methods to implement this program in various health care settings, with an objective to develop a model that could also be applied to caring for patients with genetic variations of other common diseases.

Inherited forms of diabetes, resulting from defects in HNF1A, GCK, HNF4A and a host of other genes, account for at least 1 percent or over 250,000 of diabetes cases nationwide. The actual number may be much higher because of the current challenges in correctly diagnosing those affected.

The two primary forms of monogenic diabetes are maturity-onset diabetes of the young (MODY), a form of non-insulin-requiring diabetes found in young, sometimes lean, people, and neonatal diabetes mellitis (NDM), diagnosed in infants under 6 months old. The majority of these individuals are misdiagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes and may not be receiving appropriate treatment for their genetically-based disease, according to Toni I. Pollin, M.S., Ph.D., a University of Maryland genetics researcher and lead investigator on the study.

"Most health care professionals including endocrinologists and geneticists know little about genetic types of diabetes. When they are familiar with them, the high cost and limited availability of genetic testing, which is not always covered by insurance, are major impediments to diagnosing the condition correctly," says Dr. Pollin, associate professor of medicine and epidemiology & public health and member of the Program in Personalized and Genomic Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine "A recent study indicated that monogenic diabetes is only diagn
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Contact: Karen Warmkessel
kwarmkessel@umm.edu
41-032-889-194-104-041-53
University of Maryland Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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