24 May 2012

Université de Sherbrooke contributes to a major discovery on diabetes

An international team of researchers, which includes Dr. Marie-France Hivert, professor at the Faculté de médecine et des sciences of Université de Sherbrooke, identified key genes associated with insulin resistance.

This breakthrough is one of importance: “Since the beginning of the genome’s analysis, we have found variations mainly related to the ability to secrete insulin, but very little variation associated with insulin resistance, which is a major component of type 2 diabetes”, said Marie-France Hivert, co-author of this large study, which has just been published in the journal Nature Genetics.

By combining genetic analysis of more than 90,000 people across North America and Europe, the group of researchers forming the Meta-Analyses of Glucose and Insulin-related traits Consortium (MAGIC) found six genes related to the insulin resistance.

The research team also showed that the equation between genetic predisposition and diabetes is not direct, but is strongly influenced by overweight. On the opposite, an individual genetically predisposed to diabetes can reduce his risk of developing the disease by changing his lifestyle.

In Quebec, 760,000 people have diabetes, 90% of them suffer from type 2 diabetes.

Source: Université de Sherbrooke and La Tribune

Photo credit: Robert Dumont

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