For years, diabetes has been categorized as type 1 or type 2. Those were the two categories that patients fell under depending on how their diabetes developed and affects their body. Typically type 1 diabetes is diagnosed in childhood and type 2 diabetes develops later in life.
“However, a team of researchers in Europe and Asia may have identified another form of diabetes: maturity-onset diabetes of the young or MODY.”
According to the researchers, MODY is believed to be “caused by a gene mutation and fueled by a lack of the insulin-stimulating hormone GIP.” Individuals with this condition have a mutation of the gene RFX6. Subjects of the study had typically developed MODY by the time they were 25, were not obese, were not insulin-dependent, and had an autosomal dominant inheritance of diabetes.
The researchers believe that the gene mutation results in the pancreas decreasing its insulin secretion, which is common in individuals with diabetes. However, subjects also had lower levels of the GIP hormone which stimulates and regulates insulin secretion. Researchers are hopeful that the creation of GIP analogs may help to treat MODY.
One challenge they have faced is distinguishing between individuals with type 1 or early-onset type 2 diabetes versus those who may have MODY. Improvements in gene testing and sequencing have allowed them to better identify RFX6 mutations.
As scientists and researchers develop a better understanding of diabetes, its forms, and how it impacts the body, it allows for more personalized treatment options. Individuals can find what works best for their specific type of diabetes and their body’s needs. The Diabetes Research Connection encourages and supports novel studies on type 1 diabetes to expand understanding and treatment approaches. Early career scientists receive up to $50,000 in funding for research projects. Learn more about current projects and how to support these efforts by visiting http://diabetesresearchconnection.org.
Diabetes Research Connection
The Diabetes Research Connection is a nonprofit organization based in San Diego, California. Established in 2012, the organization’s mission is to connect doctors with early-career scientists enabling them to perform peer-reviewed, novel research designed to prevent and cure type 1 diabetes, minimize its complications, and improve the quality of life for those living with the disease.