Science and Technology
publicado em 23/03/2011 às 03h00:00
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Test can detect diabetes ten years before symptoms appear

Simultaneously measure levels of five amino acids in the blood determines whether patients are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes

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A simple blood test can detect diabetes up to ten years before the first symptoms begin to appear.

The new test, developed by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital, USA, is based on simultaneously measuring the levels of five amino acids in the blood to determine whether a person is more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

The discovery gives insight into how metabolic changes occur early in the process that leads to diabetes, said a researcher, Thomas Wang.

New technologies to measure levels of metabolites - small molecules produced by metabolic activity and released into the bloodstream - have become the surest way to find out how each person's metabolism works. The diagnosis of type 2 diabetes marks the failure of glucose metabolism, the new technology can be a new option for diagnosing disease.

Using blood samples from the base, the research team measured levels of 61 metabolites in 189 participants who later developed diabetes and 189 others - combined for sex, age and risk factors of diabetes such as obesity and blood glucose levels Fasting - who remained free of diabetes.

This analysis found that increases in the five amino acids - isoleucine, leucine, valine, tyrosine and phenylalanine - were significantly associated with subsequent development of type 2 diabetes.

The researchers then found that measure various combinations of metabolites, as opposed to a single amino acid, improves the prediction of the risk of type 2 diabetes. In general, individuals closely aligned with traditional risk factors for type 2 diabetes, those with higher levels of the three amino acids had a predictive risk 4-5 times greater risk of developing diabetes than those with lower levels.

There are several indications showing that these amino acids dramatically activate an important mechanism of metabolism involved in cell growth. They can still, somehow poison the mitochondria, the cell responsible for providing energy and synthesize amino acids, said study leader Robert Gerszten.

He said further studies are needed to find ways to stop the process that leads to diabetes and thus prevent disease.


   Palavras-chave:   Type 2 diabetes    Blood test    Early diagnosis    Amino acids    Massachusetts General Hospital   
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