Hyderabad: A single genetic defect can cause monogenic diabetes called Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young (MODY) which has been identified in those who are young and lean.
MODY is a new form of diabetes which has 14 genetic variants and a breakthrough research published in BMC Medical Genetics shows that the novel gene NKX6-1 is found to cause MODY. The Indian research was carried out by Madras Diabetes Research Foundation in collaboration with Dr. Andrew S Peterson, Dr. Thong T. Nguyen and Dr. Somasekar Seshagiri from Genentech, California and Dr. Ram Prasad and Dr. Sam Santhosh.
There is often confusion between MODY and Type 1 Diabetes as both are found to affect young people or children. Type 1 Diabetes is diagnosed in those suffering from MODY, leading to misdiagnosis.
Dr. V. Mohan, Director of Madras Diabetes Research Foundation explained that MODY can be diagnosed only through genetic testing. “There are 14 different forms of MODY and each has its own unique clinical characteristics. In Indians, our study has found that MODY 12, with a gene of ABCC8- MODY, is very common. The other two forms 13 and 14 MODY are also detected in Indians,” he said.
The research has also helped to identify a new novel MODY gene NKX6-1 which has shown that it is functionally impaired, leading to diabetes in children. The study will help to understand diabetes better in youth and children. This is because many among them are identified with Type 1 diabetes. In Type 1 diabetes, the patient is put on insulin injections. But in MODY, they do not require insulin injections.
“The form of treatment is inexpensive sulphonylurea tablet which is the cheapest form of treatment,” stated the group of researchers in their submission in the paper.
This comes across as a dramatic change as there is misdiagnosis and patients are often put on insulin injections rather than being treated with medicines. The researchers noted in their paper that this has come across as a dramatic change in the form of treatment and will affect the quality of life of the patients.