Medical generics

The researches find that the a genetic factor linked to the development of diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Therefore This finding suggests a new target for preventive therapies. Because The research has been publish online and will appear in the August print issue of Diabetes. While neuropathy; but which causes pain or numbness in the legs and an increase risk of foot ulcers; is a major problem for many people with diabetes; there is significant variability in its onset:

The a genetic factor

some people develop this complication, and others do not, says Alessandro Doria, MD, PhD, MPH; a study senior author and Director of the Molecular Phenotyping and Genotyping at Joslin Diabetes Center and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston. “Therefore; they want to see if we could discover genetic factors that predispose people with diabetes to developing this complication versus being protected from it.”

Diabetes is the fastest growing long term disease that affects millions of people worldwide. According to the charity Diabetes UK; more than two million people in the UK have the condition and up to 750,000 more are unaware of having the condition. Because In the United States 25.8 million people or 8.3% of the population have diabetes. Of these, 7.0 million have undiagnosed diabetes.

People with diabetes

In 2010, about 1.9 million new cases of diabetes are diagnose in population over 20 years. It is says that if this trend continues, 1 in 3 Americans would be diabetic by 2050. For this study; therefore researchers used an approach called a genome-wide association study, or GWAS. This analysis is use to find disease-associate variants throughout the genome.

A GWAS for diabetic peripheral neuropathy was carried out in 5,168 participants from the Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes (ACCORD) clinical trial 4,384 with evidence of peripheral neuropathy and 784 who were spared this complication. After screening millions of small variations of the genome sequence (genetic variants); the study identified a region on chromosome 2q24 as having a powerful impact on the risk of peripheral neuropathy in type 2 diabetes.

The genome sequence

While the precise mechanisms are not know, there are some hints that the genetic variants in this region may act by affecting a nearby sodium channel regulating the transmission of sensory signals in peripheral nerves. Therefore “People carrying the less frequent variant at that location were protected from neuropathy and people carrying the more common variant at that same location were predisposed to this complication,” says Doria.

The implication is that this could be a target for pharmacological therapy to protect people from diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Because They find that people with the protective allele have higher amounts of this sodium channel,” says Doria. “This suggests that the sodium channel in the peripheral nerves might be use to protect people from neuropathy, by developing a drug that activates this channel.”