Health and Fitness

Genetics Of Diabetes Better Understood As Consortium Discovers Novel Markers And Variants

A large international consortium comprising over 100 research centers has taken a significant step toward a better understanding of the complex biological links between genes and type 2 diabetes in two new studies: one that found ten novel genetic markers for diabetes-related biological traits and another that found three new variants linked to raised levels of glucose seen in type 2 diabetes. As well as giving new insights into the complex biology behind type 2 diabetes, the researchers said the findings reveal five new associations that directly influence the risk of diabetes, and they hope they will also drive forward research to better understand the biology of the disease and develop new treatments. The two studies, which were funded by the Wellcome Trust, the UK's Medical Research Council and other funders including Diabetes UK, are published in the 17 January advance online issue of Nature Genetics. The research was done by the Meta-Analyses of Glucose and Insulin-related Traits Consortium (MAGIC), whose members comprise over 100 institutions in many different countries, including the UK, US, France, Switzerland, Denmark, Germany, Finland, Greece, Spain, Sweden, Iceland, Italy, Croatia, The Netherlands, and Australia.

Carlos Slim Institute Of Health To Fund Genomic Research On Cancer, Type 2 Diabetes, And A Form Of Kidney Disease

Mexican business leader Carlos Slim HelГ today announced the launch of a major research project in genomic medicine that will help accelerate progress in public health in Mexico and around the world. The project will be carried out by the Carlos Slim Institute of Health in partnership with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and the National Institute for Genomic Medicine of the Mexican Secretariat of Health. The major goal is to understand the genomic basis of cancer in worldwide populations and of type 2 diabetes in Mexican and Latin American populations. The project, called Slim Initiative for Genomic Medicine, will last three years and will receive US $65M in support from the Carlos Slim Institute of Health. It will leverage the Broad Institute's expertise and capabilities in the most advanced technologies in genomic sequencing. The project also involves the training of Mexican experts under the leadership of the National Institute of Genomic Medicine of the Mexican Secretariat of Health, the leading institution in genomic research in Latin America.

The Endocrine Society Supports The American Diabetes Association's

The Endocrine Society released a statement supporting the American Diabetes Association's (ADA) new clinical practice recommendations adding the use of the A1C blood test to the traditional tests that use blood sugar measurements in the diagnosis of diabetes and pre-diabetes. The A1C measures the percentage of hemoglobin (the main component of red blood cells) in the blood that is glycated/has glucose attached to it. The A1C is currently the main blood test used in the management of diabetes because it reflects the average blood sugar levels for the previous two to three months. Now, the A1C can also be used as a diagnostic tool. "We commend the ADA for establishing this new criterion for clinicians to use in diagnosis, " said Robert A. Vigersky, president of The Endocrine Society. "Both the Society and the ADA agree that using A1C as a diagnostic tool can make it easier for patients to find out if they have diabetes or pre-diabetes. Unlike fasting blood sugar and oral glucose tolerance tests, the A1C may be more convenient for patients since it can be done at the time of a routine office visit because it does not require fasting.

Innovative University Of Queensland Tai Chi Program Treats Depression, Diabetes And Obesity, Australia

Promising results from an innovative UQ Tai Chi-based study show depression, diabetes and obesity can all be improved through a gentle mind-body therapeutic program. The proportion of participants with clinical levels of depression decreased from 60 percent to 20 percent. BMI and waist circumference also significantly decreased by 4 percent and 3 percent respectively. This specific program may be the first exercise program that has scientifically shown significant effects of exercise alone on both depression and diabesity (diabetes and obesity). Dr Liu Xin, a UQ scientist and a renowned expert in the field of mind-body therapy, developed this unique program for the control of depression and diabesity. The three month pilot study, funded by the Diabetes Australia Research Trust, was conducted at The University of Queensland. "Without involvement of any dietary intervention and high intensity training, it was very encouraging to see such impressive results over a short period of time, " Dr Liu said.

Fast Forward, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation And Axxam SpA Join Forces To Develop Treatments For Multiple Sclerosis And Type 1 Diabetes

Fast Forward, LLC, the commercial drug development arm of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), the leader in research leading to a cure for type 1 diabetes in the world announced a collaborative partnership with Axxam SpA -- a leading company in conducting early-stage discovery research programs for the life science industry -- to develop new treatments for two autoimmune diseases, multiple sclerosis (MS) and type 1 diabetes (T1D). Under the terms of the agreement, Axxam will screen its extensive chemical library to identify compounds that can target specific ion channels in the immune system. Ion channels are tiny pores on the surface of immune cells that control the influx of charged particles and allow the cells to become activated to perform their natural surveillance and protection functions. Recent studies have found that immune cells in MS and T1D contain high levels of a specific ion channel, Kv1.3, and that the hyperactivity of this channel contributes to the dysfunction of the immune system in MS and T1D.

Oramed Pharmaceuticals Announces Completion Of Patient Enrollment For Pivotal Phase 2B Clinical Trials Of ORMD-0801

Oramed Pharmaceuticals Inc. (OTCBB: ORMP.OB) announced the completion of patient enrollment in the Phase 2B clinical study of its oral insulin capsule, ORMD-0801. The last of the thirty Type II diabetes patients was enrolled for a study in which subjects will be administered the insulin-based capsule for a period of six weeks. The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-centered study will evaluate the safety, tolerability, and efficacy of Oramed's oral insulin delivery technology. The study is taking place in five locations throughout South Africa and is being monitored by OnQ Consulting, a clinical research organization (CRO) based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Study results are expected by the end of first quarter of 2010. This trial marks an important milestone in ORMD-0801 safety testing, assessing the first indication of ORMD-0801 on a large group of volunteers over an extended treatment period. "The closing of enrollment for the Phase 2B trial is an exciting accomplishment for us, as it moves us closer to completing this trial and receiving the results.

Novo Nordisk A S: Regulatory Approval

Novo Nordisk announced that the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare has approved Victoza® for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Victoza® is the brand name for liraglutide, the first Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 (GLP-1) analogue approved in Japan, developed for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Victoza® is indicated as monotherapy or as an add-on to sulphonylurea (SU) in people with type 2 diabetes. "The Japanese approval of Victoza® represents a major advancement in the treatment of type 2 diabetes and an important milestone for Novo Nordisk." says Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, executive vice president and chief science officer of Novo Nordisk. "We are excited to pioneer the GLP-1 market in Japan, where we are convinced Victoza® will prove to be a valuable treatment option for people with type 2 diabetes. The clinical studies conducted in Japan showed Victoza® to provide superior glucose control with a low risk of hypoglycaemia." Novo Nordisk expects to launch Victoza®

Women In Prime Reproductive Years Succumb To Diabetes Epidemic In First Nations Adults

A diabetes epidemic is affecting First Nations people, especially women in their prime reproductive years, according to a new study in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) http://www.cmaj.ca/embargo/cmaj090846.pdf. The incidence of diabetes was more than 4 times higher in First Nations women compared to non-First Nations women and more than 2.5 times higher in First Nations compared to non-First Nations men. The study looked at 8275 First Nations and 82 306 non-First Nations cases in Canada's province of Saskatchewan from 1980 to 2005. Rising rates of diabetes have accompanied an epidemic of obesity that may be associated with the loss of traditional lifestyles. In 1937, diabetes was not detected in a tuberculosis survey of 1500 First Nations people but by 1990, almost 10% of the province's native people had diabetes, a rate that had doubled by 2006 to 20%. New diabetes cases peaked in First Nations people between ages 40-49 compared with a non-First Nations peak of age 70 plus.

Atlantic DIP Programme Uses Diamond From Hicom In Groundbreaking Diabetes Research

The Atlantic DIP (Diabetes in Pregnancy) programme, a research programme focusing on maternal and infant outcome from pregnancies affected by pre gestational diabetes (type 1 and type 2) along the Irish Atlantic seaboard, is using the DIAMOND clinical information management system from Hicom for data collection. The Atlantic DIP programme also offers universal screening for gestational diabetes and enables post delivery surveillance for persistent diabetes and metabolic syndrome throughout the regional population. Commissioned in 2006, the Atlantic DIP programme monitors and evaluates the effects of diabetes in pregnant women, compared to the pregnancies of non-diabetic women living along the West coast of Ireland. Professor Fidelma Dunne, Consultant Endocrinologist at the University College Hospital, Galway and principal researcher in the Atlantic Dip programme, comments, "Prior to the research of the Atlantic DIP programme, the last study into the prevalence of gestational diabetes within Ireland was carried out in the early 1990s in Dublin.

Single-Molecule, Real-Time Measurements Of A Key Biological Process

Biophysicists at TUM, the Technische Universitaet Muenchen, have published the results of single-molecule experiments that bring a higher-resolution tool to the study of protein folding. How proteins arrive at the three-dimensional shapes that determine their essential functions - or cause grave diseases when folding goes wrong - is considered one of the most important and least understood questions in the biological and medical sciences. Folding itself follows a path determined by its energy landscape, a complex property described in unprecedented detail by the TUM researchers. In this week's issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA), they report taking hold of a single, zipper-like protein molecule and mapping changes in its energy landscape during folding and unfolding. Previous studies, including atomic force microscopy experiments by the same Munich laboratory, have gone a long way toward characterizing energy thresholds or barriers that stand between a protein's unfolded and folded states.

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