Researchers investigating a form of adult-onset diabetes that shares features with the two better-known types of diabetes have discovered genetic influences that may offer clues to more accurate diagnosis and treatment. Latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA) is informally called "type 1.5 diabetes" because like type 1 diabetes (T1D), LADA is marked by circulating autoantibodies, an indicator that an overactive immune system is damaging the body's insulin-producing beta cells. But LADA also shares clinical features with type 2 diabetes (T2D), which tends to appear in adulthood. Also, as in T2D, LADA patients do not require insulin treatments when first diagnosed. A study published on April 25, 2017 in BMC Medicine used genetic analysis to show that LADA is closer to T1D than to T2D. The open-access article is titled “Relative Contribution of Type 1 And Type 2 Diabetes Loci to the Genetic Etiology of Adult-Onset, Non-Insulin-Requiring Autoimmune Diabetes.” "Correctly diagnosing subtypes of diabetes is important, because it affects how physicians manage a patient's disease," said co-study leader Struan F.A. Grant, PhD, a genomics researcher at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). "If patients are misdiagnosed with the wrong type of diabetes, they may not receive the most effective medication." Dr. Grant collaborated with European scientists, led by Richard David Leslie of the University of London, U.K.; and Bernhard O. Boehm, of Ulm University Medical Center, Germany and the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, a joint medical school of Imperial College London and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
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