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

osed correctly in about 6 percent of cases in the United States."

"This research will enhance our ability to identify and properly diagnose individuals and families with specific inherited forms of diabetes, tailor treatment to their diagnosis and identify other family members at risk for developing diabetes," Dr. Pollin says. "Correct and early diagnosis and treatment should improve blood sugar control and decrease life-threatening complications."

The most common forms of diabetes, type 1 and type 2, are polygenic involving multiple genes. Environmental and lifestyle factors, such as diet and activity level in the case of type 2 diabetes, often also come into play.

It is important for doctors to identify the specific type of diabetes in order to determine the most effective treatment. For example, patients with type 1 diabetes an autoimmune disorder that destroys insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas require treatment with insulin for survival. Those with type 2 diabetes, who don't produce enough insulin or use it properly, typically receive metformin as a first-line treatment. For patients with certain forms of genetic diabetes, oral medications called sulfonylureas enable the patient to release his/her own insulin and are more effective and far less invasive than insulin injections in controlling blood sugar levels.

Co-principal investigator Alan R. Shuldiner, M.D., the John L. Whitehurst Endowed Professor of Medicine, expects the research to lay important groundwork to help integrate genetic testing into clinical practice. "We believe this is the first effort to implement systematic screening for genetic forms of diabetes in all patients seen in diabetes and primary care clinics with follow-up genomic testing for those at risk," says Dr. Shuldiner, associate dean for personalized medicine and director of the Program in Personalized and Genomic Medicine. "We are reaching out to implement genomic medicine beyond aca
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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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