Genetic findings in 'type 1.5' diabetes may shed light on better diagnosis, treatment
Researchers investigating a form of adult-onset diabetes that shares features with the two better-known types of diabetes have discovered genetic influences that may offer clues to more accurate diagnosis and treatment.
Latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA) is informally called "type 1.5 diabetes" because like type 1 diabetes (T1D), LADA is marked by circulating autoantibodies, an indicator that an overactive immune system is damaging the body's insulin-producing beta cells. But LADA also shares clinical features with type 2 diabetes (T2D), which tends to appear in adulthood. Also, as in T2D, LADA patients do not require insulin treatments when first diagnosed.
A study published April 25 in BMC Medicine uses genetic analysis to show that LADA is closer to T1D than to T2D. "Correctly diagnosing subtypes of diabetes is important, because it affects how physicians manage a patient's disease," said co-study leader Struan F.A. Grant, PhD, a genomics researcher at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). "If patients are misdiagnosed with the wrong type of diabetes, they may not receive the most effective medication."
Grant collaborated with European scientists, led by Richard David Leslie of the University of London, U.K.; and Bernhard O. Boehm, of Ulm University Medical Center, Germany and the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, a joint medical school of Imperial College London and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Occurring when patients cannot produce their own insulin or are unable to properly process the insulin they do produce, diabetes is usually classi Continue reading