The genetic aspects of diabetes are little understood. How the disease develops in some people and not in others is a phenomenon constantly being investigated by scientists . The genes responsible for diabetes are sometimes linked to other conditions. Fresh research from the UK indicates that the genetic mutations that lead to neonatal diabetes may also be responsible for further neurological dsyfunctions.
Mutations of the KCNJ11 gene is involved in approximately 50 per cent of neonatal diabetes cases, and scientists have now found that the same mutations can cause a further syndrome. Known as DEND (developmental decay, epilepsy and neonatal diabetes), the syndrome is characterised by epilepsy, weakness of the muscles and developmental decay. The disorder is rare, and only three patients have so far been diagnosed with epilepsy and developmental decay caused by mutations of the KCNJ11 gene. The results of the study are published in the European Journal of Human Genetics.
Neonatal diabetes is a rare third form of the disease and has nothing to do with diet or exercise, instead occuring amongts very young children and babies . The disease usually goes away after the child grows and beta cells begin to develop. Permanent neonatal diabetes is extremely rare, but cases have been diagnosed.

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