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Indian Scientists Identify Second Pancreatitis Gene

whether there was any link between the two and its role.

In case of pancreatitis in the west, the disease is caused by the mutation of another gene - cationic trypsinogen - and this mutation is not found among the populations of tropical countries.

"This underlines the need for conducting separate research on the genetic basis of different diseases that are typical to our countries," Reddy said.

The study covered 306 patients and 330 healthy people, almost half of them from the state of Kerala, where the disease is reportedly rampant.

CCMB director Lalji Singh described the development as immensely significant. He said: "No one in the past had found the mutation of this gene. This is the first time in the world that it has been identified".

"If we put together SPINK1, the first mutation gene and the second mutation gene, it will be possible in the future to predict via screening a newborn baby's propensity for pancreatitis.

"On the basis of the prediction, a clinic can counsel on diet and lifestyles. It will be even possible to prevent the disease," he said.

Pancreas, the second most important organ in the human body after the heart, plays a major role in digestion of food and regulation of blood glucose mechanism in the body.

"Whenever pancreas becomes abnormal or develop chronic pacnreatitis, then the patient will develop diabetes mellitus because the glucose cannot be properly regulated and insulin is not secreted. Further degeneration leads to cancer of pancreas and it proves fatal," said Reddy.

The disease is also one of the major contributing factors in causing diabetes, the incidence of which is very high among Indians.

Edited IANS
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