Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Type II Diabetes

I heard a report on the news the other day about a group of genes being identified that may possibly be associated with an increased risk of developing Type II Diabetes and I became interested because the disease is a common affliction to people of my own heritage, Hispanics. By doing some reading on the subject I have come to understand that by having a clearer idea of which genes may heighten an individuals risk for developing the disease, we are taking the necessary steps so that we may find a more individualized, effective means of treating Type II Diabetes. I know from personal experience with family members and my own work experience that the effects of the disease could be extremely devastating physically and consequently emotionally. So taking steps through genetic research to prevent the disease or treat it in afflicted individuals more efficiently I believe is highly beneficial to those currently suffering with the disease and also to future generations. Specifically the genes I read about were HNF1B and JAZF1. In the first gene HNF1B, researchers were able to gather data which indicated that a particular variation in the expression of the gene indicated an elevated risk of developing Type II Diabetes, while strangely for reasons not yet understood, this same variation was also found to be related to an decreased risk for developing prostate cancer. The second gene JAZF1, was also identified as being related to the onset of Type II Diabetes, which is caused by the cells of the body becoming incapable of uptaking blood glucose. Overall there have been about 16 genes found to be associated with the disease to date but these two are the ones I found mentioned while perusing various articles on the topic.