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 The genes are not to blame
20.07.2018 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Targeting headaches and tumors with nano-submarines
20.07.2018 | Universitätsmedizin der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

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: Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers

A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.

The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A smart safe rechargeable zinc ion battery based on sol-gel transition electrolytes

20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Reversing cause and effect is no trouble for quantum computers

20.07.2018 | Information Technology

Princeton-UPenn research team finds physics treasure hidden in a wallpaper pattern

20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>