New research on type 2 diabetes could benefit young adults with the condition

February 1, 2010

New research on Type 2 diabetes by Trinity College Dublin researchers could benefit young adults (aged 18-25 years) with the condition. The research led by Professor John Nolan of Trinity College Dublin and St James's Hospital, Dublin, has just been published online in the leading international journal, Diabetes Care.

The study findings demonstrate new mechanisms in that may explain severe insulin resistance which is the body's decreased ability to respond to the effects of insulin, and a reduced response to in young obese patients with . These important findings will contribute in the longterm to the development of more specific treatments for young people with Type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. It occurs because the body produces too little insulin and is unable to properly use the insulin that is secreted. It usually occurs in older people although it is becoming more common among younger people, partly due to lifestyle factors such as diet, lack of physical activity and obesity. The highest rates occur in countries with modern lifestyles. Type 2 diabetes accounts for approximately 85%-90% of all cases of diabetes in European countries.

Commenting on the significance of the research, Professor John Nolan of the Department of Clinical Medicine, TCD, who led the Metabolic Research Group, said: "Type 2 diabetes is presenting in much younger people, usually because of early onset obesity and a strong family background of diabetes. These studies provide us with important new insights into the way diabetes develops and progresses in these young patients. In this study, we have shown that obese young patients with Type 2 diabetes, in contrast to equally obese young people without diabetes, have abnormal function of key and proteins. Mitochondria are the energy centres in cells and these abnormalities contribute to insulin resistance and a severely blunted response to physical exercise. Aerobic exercise is very effective in preventing and treating Type 2 diabetes in middle aged and older people."

"Type 2 diabetes is the major chronic disease of modern societies", continued Professor Nolan, "and threatens the health of populations, most dramatically in Asia and developing countries. Designing specific treatments for Type 2 diabetes in young people depends on a more exact understanding of the cellular mechanisms of this disease. Our studies of muscle mitochondrial function have allowed us to focus intervention studies on these important new mechanisms."

The research was carried out by the Metabolic Research Unit at Trinity College Dublin based at St James's Hospital. These studies are part of an ongoing research programme by Professor Nolan's team into the causes and treatment of Type 2 diabetes and severe in young people. The investigations were done in collaboration with Professor Antonio Zorzano at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine, Barcelona. The studies were funded by grants from the European Foundation for the Study of Diabetes and from the EU Commission as well as grants from the Ministerio de Educación y Cultura in Spain.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Pneumonia vaccine under development provides 'most comprehensive coverage' to date, alleviates antimicrobial concerns

October 20, 2017
In 2004, pneumonia killed more than 2 million children worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. By 2015, the number was less than 1 million.

Newly discovered viral marker could help predict flu severity in infected patients

October 20, 2017
Flu viruses contain defective genetic material that may activate the immune system in infected patients, and new research published in PLOS Pathogens suggests that lower levels of these molecules could increase flu severity.

Migraines may be the brain's way of dealing with oxidative stress

October 19, 2017
A new perspective article highlights a compelling theory about migraine attacks: that they are an integrated mechanism by which the brain protects and repairs itself. Recent insightful findings and potential ways to use them ...

H7N9 influenza is both lethal and transmissible in animal model for flu

October 19, 2017
In 2013, an influenza virus that had never before been detected began circulating among poultry in China. It caused several waves of human infection and in late 2016, the number of people to become sick from the H7N9 virus ...

Flu simulations suggest pandemics more likely in spring, early summer

October 19, 2017
New statistical simulations suggest that Northern Hemisphere flu pandemics are most likely to emerge in late spring or early summer at the tail end of the normal flu season, according to a new study published in PLOS Computational ...

New insights into herpes virus could inform vaccine development

October 18, 2017
A team of scientists has discovered new insights into the mechanisms of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection, as well as two antibodies that block the virus' entry into cells. The findings, published in Proceedings of the National ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.