Blood Glucose Levels - New Research Findings
Blood glucose levels are not regulated properly by the body cells of Type 2 diabetes. Do you know why this is so? The research has shown that there are two reasons behind this. One is that the beta cells in the pancreas are not functioning properly. The second reason is that the insulin actions on the liver, fat and muscles are impaired. And now researchers have identified a new role for the neuron's ability to sense the blood glucose levels.
The new research conducted by the scientists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and Oregon Health & Science University has recognized a third abnormality in the neurons that sense the rise in glucose and then start responding by returning the blood glucose levels to normal. The investigators said that this could lead to new treatment for type 2 diabetes.
Then there is the study that found the brain's impaired ability to sense glucose that poses a risk for type 2 diabetes. What may bring about the brain's ability to respond properly to blood glucose levels is a diet high in fat. Why am I not surprised? Never mind, we're not worried because we are trying to eat healthy meals that are low in fat. Give me a five!
UT Southwestern Medical Center, Harvard Medical School and Oregon Health and Science University researchers were the first to show how some neurons activated by glucose respond to glucose as well as the physiological role of glucose sensing in these neurons. Dr. Roberto Coppari who is the assistant professor of internal medicine at UT Southwestern and co-lead author of the study explained this.
Scientists discovered these neurons in the 1960's but did not find out the role it played in the development of type 2 diabetes. The new findings will open new research. The mechanism in the glucose sensing neurons is related to how the body utilizes fuels. One of these fuels is glucose and it comes from the food we eat. This is used by the body to make a molecule they call ATP which supplies energy to the cells.
This ATP in the brain can make the tiny pores in the glucose-sensing neurons to close so it allows the potassium in and out of the cells. When the ATP closes the potassium channels the neurons that sense glucose are active and they become less active when the ATP levels are low. Thus the blood glucose levels go down.
The researchers disrupted the ATP's effect on the potassium channels genetically. That's how they found that the mice response to glucose was impaired. This shows the that the sensing glucose in the brain plays a part in the control of blood glucose levels.
They also found out that the mice fed with a high fat diet caused the loss of glucose sensing that led to low readings and this may be the link between high fat diet, obesity and type 2 diabetes.
All these findings spurred the scientists to keep finding ways of treating diabetes. There is the study on Liraglutide that has shown to improve control of blood glucose levels.
The clinical results announced by Novo Nordisk showed better control than rosiglitazone.
The Liraglutide showed around 40% patients reached A1c reading of less than 7% when this phase of the studies was completed. The patients in the first study who had been treated with one oral antidiabetic drug had 50% of the subjects reaching the same goal when treated with Liraglutide.
The second study showed that with the participants who had been treated before with one oral antidiabetic drug, the Liraglutide treatment led to near 65% of the patients reaching the desired target for their blood glucose levels.
The studies were of the 26 week duration that observed the effect of Liraglutide in diabetes. These examined the result of the different doses of Liraglutide when combined with one oral antidiabetic drug. The patients who did not have control by taking one or two oral antidiabetic drugs were the participants in these studies.
There was also a weight difference from 2 to 4 kg loss among the participants when treated with Liraglutide as opposed to when they were treated with rosiglitazone and glimepride.
In addition, they found that Liraglutide was well tolerated when combined with glimepride and metformin.
The most often reported side effect was nausea. Novo Nordisk was encouraged by these clinical results of improved sugar readings, body weight and hypoglycemia risk so much so that they feel confident they are on track to submit for regulatory approval by the middle of 2008. They will announce the results of the remaining studies by the second half of 2007 and the first three months of 2008.
Liraglutide is a once daily human alternative of the hormone Gluagon Like Peptide 1. Novo Nordisk is developing this compound to treat Type 2 diabetes. It is now on Phase 3. It is believed that this compound stimulates the release of insulin only when the blood glucose levels get too high. They also believe that compared to other antidiabetic therapy, this compound results in the loss of weight instead of the weight gain.
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