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L.Srikumar Pai
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1. How insulin pumps revolutionise treatment of neuronal diseases in Diabetes?- International Publication from JDC!!
     Wolfram syndrome (WS), or DIDMOAD (diabetes insipidus, diabetes mellitus, optic atrophy, and deafness), is a rare autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disorder with a median life expectancy of 30 years and occurs in one in 770,000 live births. To date only five successful pregnancies have been reported among WS subjects worldwide. Here we describe the sixth report of successful pregnancy in a WS patient and the first from India. The subject is still on an insulin pump, now 31 years old and doing well. She developed diabetes at 5 years of age, optic atrophy at 14 years, and diabetes insipidus at 25 years and had a successful delivery in 2007 while on an insulin pump. Sequencing of exonic regions of the WFS1 gene showed five changes, two of which were pathogenic (exon 8). Magnetic resonance imaging of brain showed generalized neurodegenerative changes. The benefits of continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion and that of tight metabolic control in prevention of abortions and fetal malformations in diabetes associated with pregnancy are well documented. The impression of probable pleiotropic action of insulin pumps over and above that of glycemic reduction is gaining momentum. Recent evidence supports use of insulin pumps in alleviating neuropathic pain in diabetes, probably by virtue of its action in minimizing mean amplitude of glycemic excursions not possible with conventional insulin shots. WS is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder, which will probably help us in understanding the positive impact of continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion in prolonging the life span and retarding neuronal damage in WS.

2. High-fat diet, though dangerous may reverse diabetes-related kidney damage.

    Renal failure, one of the main complications of diabetes, may reverse in eight weeks by ketogenic diet. According to a mice study conducted at Sinai Hospital in New York, Ketogenic diet of high fatty food starves the body of carbs and sugars, thereby tricking the body into burning fat for fuel instead of glucose.

    The researchers took two groups of mice that were genetically predisposed to having Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. Half were fed a standard, high-carb diet while the other half received a ketogenic diet.

    After eight weeks, kidney failure was reversed in the ketogenic-fed mice, said Lead author Charles Mobbs, a neuroscientist at the Mount Sinai Medical Center.

    Word of caution: This is only an initial observation. Kidney disease patients should strictly adhere to the diet advised by their treating doctor and dietitian (JDC Gems editorial team).

3. Decreased vitamin D levels connected to diabetes risk.

      People with lower levels of vitamin D circulating in their bloodstream are at higher risk of developing diabetes, reveals a study, which followed more than 5,000 people for 5 years.
Researchers found that those, with lower than average vitamin D levels had a 57% increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to people with levels in the recommended range.

      "Studies like ours have suggested that blood levels of vitamin D higher than what is recommended for bone health may be necessary to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes," said lead author Dr. Claudia Gagnon, a fellow at the Western Hospital at the University of Melbourne in Australia where the study was done.

      To check whether circulating D levels and calcium consumption influenced insulin sensitivity and diabetes risk, Gagnon's team measured the vitamin D blood levels of 5,200 people without diabetes. After 5 years, about 200 of them had developed diabetes, and the researchers measured everyone's vitamin D levels again.

      The researchers found that twice as many people (6 in 100) with low blood levels of vitamin D later developed diabetes, compared to those with blood levels in the normal range (3 in 100

4.Want to be slim? Avoid obese friends

     A new study found that obese friends can also make you fatter. According to this study thin people who socialise with the obese can put on weight. But, here is the good news. The process can work in reverse too theoretically , says the study. The researchers Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler, examined 32 years of data collected during a research of people's hearts in Framingham in Massachusetts . They discovered that where two people who are friends for a long time, and where one is heavier than the other, the thinner friend tended to increase in weight by up to 57% over time.

5. Compound in Broccoli May Block Defective Gene Linked to cancer

      You may have heard that broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower and watercress has the ability to fight against cancer. But until now the scientists did not know the secret behind the vegetables' anticancer attributes.

     In a new study, researchers found compounds in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables called isothiocyanates (ITCs) appear to target and block mutant p53 genes associated with cancer growth.

     Gene p53 is known as a tumor suppressor gene and appears to play a critical role in keeping cells healthy and protecting them from cancer. When this gene is damaged or mutated, it stops offering this protection. Researchers say these mutations are found in about half of all human cancers.

     In a report published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, researcher Xiantao Wang of Georgetown University and colleagues analyzed the effects of ITCs on gene p53 in a variety of human cancer cells, including lung, breast, and colon cancer, in the lab.

     The results showed that ITCs were capable of removing the defective p53 gene while leaving healthy versions of the gene alone.

6.F Diabetes Medicine Updates

FDA approves new treatment for Type 2 diabetes

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Tradjenta (linagliptin) tablets, used with diet and exercise, to improve blood glucose control in adults with Type 2 diabetes. Tradjenta increases the level of hormones that stimulate the release of insulin after a meal by blocking the enzyme dipeptidyl peptidase-4 or DPP-4, which leads to better blood glucose control.

    Tradjenta was demonstrated to be safe and effective in eight double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical studies involving about 3,800 patients with Type 2 diabetes. The studies showed improvement in blood glucose control compared with placebo. The most common side effects of Tradjenta are upper respiratory infection, stuffy or runny nose, sore throat, muscle pain, and headache.

Reference: The newsletter  published by Jothydev's Diabetes Centre for free distribution through the Internet for doctors, patients and public for promoting healthy lifestyles. For enquiries, please contact: Sunitha Jothydev, CAO, Jothydev's Diabetes Centre, Trivandrum - visit:

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