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Biomarker discovery ‘could predict type 2 diabetes earlier’

By Editor
29th August 2017

A technology-based approach developed to accurately identify people who are at high risk of type 2 diabetes has been unveiled.

A research team from the University of Glasgow say they have discovered potential new predictors, or “biomarkers” of diabetes, in the form of proteins and molecules called micro-RNAs.

The trial looked at the proteins which were present in the blood samples of people who were studied three years before they developed type 2 diabetes. They were then compared with samples from people of a similar age and weight who maintained normal blood sugar over the same period.

The project measured 1,129 proteins in each blood sample as well as 754 micro-RNAs. Statistical modelling was applied to work out which were best at predicting diabetes.

Study lead, Professor John Petrie, from the Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences at the university, said: “Many cases of type 2 diabetes could be prevented by earlier and more intense intervention to reduce calorie intake, increase physical activity and prevent the weight gain associated with modern lifestyles.

“But a more accurate means of predicting those at greatest risk is an important part of that effort. This project is a great example of a productive collaboration between University and industry researchers, bringing cutting-edge technology to bear on an important public health issue, using carefully collected samples from well-characterised individuals.”

The study, ‘Identification of novel biomarkers to monitor beta-cell function and enable early detection of type 2 diabetes risk’ is published today in the open access journal PLOS ONE.

Dr Petrie added: “We are sharing the findings openly with the diabetes research community today in the hope that our findings can help in the global effort to tackle the ongoing pandemic of type 2 diabetes and its complications.”

To read the study, click here.

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