According to recent research by the Diabetes Research Group at the University of Dundee, scientists have found that people with diabetes who have a certain gene respond to some treatments better than those that do not have it.
The research concerned the treatment sulphonylureas, a diabetes drug group. Amongst type 2 diabetes sufferers with the variant, this class of drugs was up to three times more effective. The research covered over 1,000 participants over an 18 month period.
The Director of Research at Diabetes UK, Dr. Iain Framen, was reported in diabetes news as commenting: “This research is important because it demonstrates the effect that genetic variations could have in determining treatments for people with Type 2 diabetes. The CYP2C9 gene produces an enzyme which breaks down sulphonylureas in the liver. In people with variations in this gene the enzyme is less active, which could explain their improved response to sulphonylureas. This study adds to the pharmacogenetic field of research which may in time lead to better tailored prescriptions for people with Type 2 diabetes so that treatment is optimised in light of a person’s genetic make-up. This could in turn eventually lead to a reduction in the amount of money that is spent on ineffective diabetes drug treatments by the NHS.”

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