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New lab testing identifies gene mutations linked to diabetes

Category: Diabetes

At-risk patients undergoing diabetes testing may be interested in a new study that has identified 10 gene mutations associated with blood sugar and insulin levels, two keys factors related to type 2 diabetes.

"Only four gene variants had previously been associated with glucose metabolism, and just one of them was known to affect type 2 diabetes," said co-author Jose Florez of the Center for Human Genetic Research at Massachusetts General Hospital, quoted by Health Day.

"With more genes identified, we can see patterns emerge," he added.

One particular gene, known as GIPR-A, was found to be especially important in the development of the disease, the Agence France Presse reports.

Normally, GIPR-A produces a protein that is related to the release of insulin, which controls sugar levels in the blood. The mutated version of GIPR-A impairs this response and results in elevated glucose levels.

Florez added that researchers have only identified approximately 10 percent of the genetic contribution to glucose levels in non-diabetic study participants and that more research is needed to fully understand the way that genetic variations lead to diabetes.

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