Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New test could identify infants with rare insulin disease

23.10.2014

A rare form of a devastating disease which causes low blood sugar levels in babies and infants may now be recognised earlier thanks to a new test developed by researchers from The University of Manchester.

Congenital hyperinsulinism starves a baby's brain of blood sugar and can lead to lifelong brain damage or permanent disability according to previous research carried out by the Manchester team.

The condition occurs when specialised cells in the pancreas release too much insulin which causes frequent low sugar episodes - the clinical opposite of diabetes. Treatment includes drugs to reduce insulin release but in the most serious cases the pancreas is removed.

For some infants with this disease, the release of excess insulin is due to mutations in genes which govern the way our bodies control insulin release. But for more than two thirds of child patients the genetic causes are not yet known.

Genes and hormones were analysed in 13 children with congenital hyperinsulisnism at the Manchester Children's Hospital and the findings have been published in The Journal of Pediatrics.

Dr Karen Cosgrove from the Faculty of Life Sciences led the research: "We have discovered a new clinical test which can identify congenital hyperinsulinism in some patients with no known genetic cause of the disease. This is the first step to understanding what causes the disease in these particular patients. In future the test may influence how these children are treated medically, perhaps even avoiding the need to have their pancreas removed."

The new test measures a pair of hormones called incretins which are released by specialised cells in the gut when food is passing through. The hormones normally tell the cells in the pancreas to release more insulin to regulate sugar levels in our blood. If the child's body releases too much incretin hormones, the pancreas will release too much insulin causing dangerous low blood sugar levels.

"Although we are the first researchers to report high incretin hormone levels in patients with congenital hyperinsulinism, further studies are needed to see if our test works on a larger group of patients" says Dr Cosgrove.

Researchers from The University of Manchester along with consultants from the Manchester Children's Hospital, part of Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, teamed up for the study. Royal Manchester Children's Hospital is the base for the Northern Congenital Hyperinsulinism (NorCHI) service, a national centre for treatment of this disease.

Doctor Indi Banerjee, Consultant in Paediatric Endocrinology at Royal Manchester Children's Hospital and clinical lead for NorCHI says: "Our new results are timely since clinical trials of a new incretin-blocking treatment for congenital hyperinsulinism have recently started. We anticipate that our clinical test will help to identify the patients who are likely to benefit from this new treatment the most."

Julie Raskin, Executive Director of Congenital Hyperinsulinism International is impressed with the research: "A new diagnostic test for this devastating disease is welcome news to the international hyperinsulinism patient community because timely diagnosis is key to reducing the chance of brain damage and death, and the research also suggests a path to treatment other than sub-total pancreatectomy, which almost always leads to diabetes."

Morwenna Grills | Eurek Alert!
Further information:
http://www.manchester.ac.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator
23.02.2018 | University of Turku

nachricht Minimising risks of transplants
22.02.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Attoseconds break into atomic interior

A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.

In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...

Im Focus: Good vibrations feel the force

A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.

By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Basque researchers turn light upside down

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator

23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Attoseconds break into atomic interior

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>