Health and Fitness

Switch In Glucose Processing Triggered By Lack Of Cellular Enzyme

A study investigating how a cellular enzyme affects blood glucose levels in mice provides clues to pathways that may be involved in processes including the regulation of longevity and the proliferation of tumor cells. In their report in the January 22 issue of Cell, a Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)-based team of researchers describes the mechanism by which absence of the enzyme SIRT6 induces a fatal drop in blood sugar in mice by triggering a switch between two critical cellular processes. "We found that SIRT6 functions as a master regulator of glucose levels by maintaining the normal processes by which cells convert glucose into energy, " says Raul Mostoslavsky, MD, PhD, of the MGH Cancer Center, who led the study. "Learning more about how this protein controls the way cells handle glucose could lead to new approaches to treating type 2 diabetes and even cancer ." SIRT6 belongs to a family of proteins called sirtuins, which regulate important biological pathways in organisms from bacteria to humans.

A Deafening Silence - Children And Young People With Diabetes Feel They Are Being Ignored

Thousands of children and teenagers with diabetes in the UK are left disenfranchised and at risk of developing serious health complications, because they feel healthcare professionals and schools don't always listen to their needs and help them control their diabetes. This is the finding of a report by Diabetes UK. We are now calling for improved provision of and access to educational and psychological support for children and young people with diabetes. The report's findings Last year 61 per cent of children and young people with diabetes aged up to 17 years said that they rarely felt able to talk about their needs or only able to talk about them "some of the time" when trying to discuss their diabetes care goals with their healthcare team. For example, many children and young people wanted to have better access to advice on food choices and to psychological support but last year only 16 per cent of children and young people always had access to a dietitian and only 0.5 per cent to a psychologist.

Diabetes UK's Annual Professional Conference Is Drawing Closer

Diabetes UK's Annual Professional Conference (APC) is coming to the Arena and Convention Centre (ACC) in Liverpool from 3 to 5 March 2010. The APC is the only event of its kind in the UK that is exclusively for healthcare professionals and scientists working in the area of diabetes. One of the largest in the UK It is one of the largest healthcare conferences in the UK with around 3, 000 attendees and provides people with the chance to: - explore a variety of different aspects of diabetes - share best practice - find out about the latest research - network with colleagues The theme for the APC 2010 is 'Diabetes: challenges in all ages', exploring the challenges posed by diabetes from children to older age. Book your place For further information or to book your place see our APC 2010 section. Source Diabetes UK

Insulin Research Points Way To Better Diabetes Treatments

New research that significantly improves our understanding of how insulin interacts with cells in the human body is published today. The study could have major implications for the development of treatments for Type I diabetes. By developing and analysing a range of super active insulins, scientists from the York Structural Biology Laboratory at the University of York have been able to identify common features that point to the likely molecular structure of human insulin when it is active in the body. The research also offers new insight into how insulin binds to insulin receptors on cells. The research was conducted with colleagues at the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, and is published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Dr Marek Brzozowski, from the York Structural Biology Laboratory, said: "The structures of inactive forms of insulin and the insulin receptor are reasonably well known, but documenting how they interact has proven to be a considerable scientific challenge.

Novo Nordisk Receives US Approval For Victoza R liraglutide For The Treatment Of Type 2 Diabetes

Novo Nordisk announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted marketing authorisation for Victoza® for the treatment of type 2 diabetes in adults. Victoza® is the brand name approved in the US and Europe for liraglutide, the first once-daily human Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 (GLP-1) analogue developed for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. In the US, Victoza® is indicated as an adjunct to diet and exercise to improve glycaemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes. This provides for Victoza® to be used in monotherapy, as second-line treatment and in combination with commonly prescribed oral medications for diabetes. "The US approval of Victoza® represents a major advancement in the treatment of type 2 diabetes and is an important milestone for Novo Nordisk that follows the recent approval in Japan and the ongoing successful launch in Europe." says Lars Rebien Sorensen, president and CEO. "We are convinced that Victoza® will prove to be a valuable treatment option for people with type 2 diabetes in the US.

New Sensor Could Help Treat, Combat Diabetes, Other Diseases

A tiny new sensor could provide fresh, inexpensive diagnosis and treatment methods for people suffering from a variety of diseases. University of Florida engineers have designed and tested versions of the sensor for applications ranging from monitoring diabetics' glucose levels via their breath to detecting possible indicators of breast cancer in saliva. They say early results are promising - particularly considering that the sensor can be mass produced inexpensively with technology already widely used for making chips in cell phones and other devices. "This uses known manufacturing technology that is already out there, " said Fan Ren, a professor of chemical engineering and one of a team of engineers collaborating on the project. The team has published 15 peer-reviewed papers on different versions of the sensor, most recently in this month's edition of IEEE Sensors Journal. In that paper, members report integrating the sensor in a wireless system that can detect glucose in exhaled breath, then relay the findings to health care workers.

Stress Peptide And Receptor May Have Role In Diabetes

The neuropeptide corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) makes cameo appearances throughout the body, but its leading role is as the opening act in the stress response, jump-starting the process along the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have found that CRF also plays a part in the pancreas, where it increases insulin secretion and promotes the division of the insulin-producing beta cells. These findings, which will be published in this week's edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, may provide new insights into diabetes, particularly type 1, as well as suggest novel targets for drug intervention. The pancreas is both an exocrine gland, producing enzymes that are secreted into the gut to help digest food, and an endocrine gland, secreting a cocktail of hormones, including insulin, which is manufactured by beta cells that reside in endocrine islets within the "sea" of exocrine tissue. Plasma glucose increases after a meal, and, in healthy people, insulin is secreted to instruct the body to take up the glucose and store it in the liver or muscles to bring blood glucose levels down.

Phase 2 Trial Of LX4211 Demonstrates Significant And Rapid Improvements In Multiple Parameters In Type 2 Diabetic Patients

Lexicon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: LXRX), a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering breakthrough treatments for human disease, obtained positive results from a recently completed Phase 2 study of LX4211 in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. LX4211 is a once-per-day, orally-delivered, small molecule drug candidate that inhibits the sodium-dependent glucose transporter 2 (SGLT2), lowering the accumulation of glucose in the body and reducing caloric load. LX4211, dosed as a single agent, provided improvements in glycemic control, demonstrating statistically significant benefits in the primary and multiple secondary efficacy endpoints. "Results from this important first trial of LX4211 in diabetic patients exceeded our expectations, " said Dr. Philip M. Brown, senior vice president of clinical development at Lexicon. "Rapid improvement in multiple parameters of diabetes, meaningful weight loss, a favorable safety profile and the fact that LX4211-treated patients exhibited improvements in clinically-important metabolic and cardiovascular parameters within four weeks on a single agent is remarkable.

UCLA Study Shows Metformin Is Safe For Patients With Advanced Heart Failure And Diabetes Mellitus

A new study has shown that metformin, a drug often used in the treatment of diabetes mellitus, is safe for use in treating patients who have both diabetes and advanced heart failure. The study was published in the Journal of Cardiac Failure by researchers at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and is now online here. "There may be over two million individuals with heart failure and type II diabetes mellitus in the U. S. alone, so this important finding will have fairly broad impact, " said Dr. Tamara Horwich, senior author of the study and an assistant professor of medicine in the division of cardiology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Previous studies have shown that diabetes increases not only the risk of developing heart failure, but also the risk of death among heart failure patients. This is due in large part to the fact that diabetes, because it increases the amounts of sugar and fat circulating in the bloodstream, accelerates the onset of coronary atherosclerosis.

Health Policy Research Roundup: Long-Term Care, Diabetes Disparities, Health IT

Annals of Internal Medicine : Cultural Competency Training and Performance Reports to Improve Diabetes Care for Black Patients - In this study, researchers measure the effects cultural competency training and performance training for physicians has on the clinical outcomes for black patients with diabetes. By comparing the patient outcomes among blacks whose physicians received training to those who had not, the authors conclude that though "cultural competency training combined with individual clinician-level performance feedback on racial disparities в increased awareness of disparities, " such changes were "not accompanied by improvement in diabetes outcomes for black patients. ... Future studies should focus on methods to build on this increased clinician awareness, possibly through programs that engage patients and the community in more effective management of diabetes and incorporate the skills of other allied health professionals, including nurses, pharmacists, and nutritionists, " they conclude (Sequist et al.

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