Type 2 diabetes research could help young adults

Tue, 02 Feb 2010
Research at Trinity College Dublin could help young adults with type 2 diabetes to manage their condition. The research was published in diabetes journal Diabetes Care, and could help to explain why insulin resistance occurs amongst some young people. Furthermore, the study investigated why young obese patients with type 2 diabetes experienced a lower response to aerobic exercise.

Speaking about his research, Professor John Nolan of the Department of Clinical Medicine was reported as commenting: " 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 mitochondrial genes 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."

Nolan's research is part of an ongoing programme of study into the causes and treatments of type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. Nolan reportedly continued: "Type 2 diabetes is the major chronic disease of modern societies, 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."
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