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Genetic differences distinguish Children's type 1 diabetes from Adults' type 1.5

ANI | Updated: Jan 08, 2020 11:23 IST

Pennsylvania [USA], Jan 8 (ANI): Researchers from Philadelphia have discovered a genetic signature that could be helpful in distinguishing pediatric-onset T1d from the adult-onset form of diabetes sharing type1 diabetes (T1d).
This discovery which was published in the journal - Diabetes Care - has opened the door to straightforward diagnostic tests for the adult condition and for improving responses by ensuring that patients receive appropriate treatment.
"This is our first insight into genetic differences between latent autoimmune diabetes in adults and T1D in children that may be diagnostically useful. We have found a genetic means of discriminating between the two conditions without expensive and cumbersome anti-autobody screening," said the lead researcher Struan Grant.
Latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA) is often also known as 'type 1.5 diabetes' as it consists of characteristics of both T1D and type 2 diabetes (T2D). LADA produces auto-antibodies that attack the insulin-producing beta cells present in the pancreas.
Patients with LADA get diagnosed with the same during adulthood and do not require insulin at the time of diagnosis. This is why LADA is often misdiagnosed as T2D. According to certain studies, up to 10% of T2D diagnoses are, in fact, LADA, and this is why patients do not respond to the commonly inappropriate treatments prescribed to them.
Another study found that LADA has more in common with T1D than with T2D from a genetic perspective. Researchers further took a deeper dive and looked for genetic differences that could help in distinguishing between T1D and LADA.
In the end, the team of researchers found out that when it came to the T1D group, the results from the earlier studies held: the controlling for genetic variants that were in one part of the MHC revealed the variants present in another part of MHC.
The researchers, however, did not find the same effect with LADA patients.
While controlling for genetic variants in MHC in such patients, researchers did not observe any additional association within this key region, which is an important genetic distinction between the two given conditions. When a sensitivity test was conducted to the two cohorts, researchers continued to observe the effect only in T1D patients and not in the patients with LADA.
"This suggests that these MHC class associations may be a genetic discriminator between LADA and childhood-onset T1D. The next step is to look at this association in different ethnicities, particularly African ancestry, where the prevalence of adult-onset diabetes can be significantly higher in certain parts of the world," said a researcher Diana Cousminer. (ANI)