Researchers Identify Biomarker To Detect Early Diabetes Risk

shutterstock_135886439Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease that affects people from all walks of life. It is also associated with a number of other life threatening complications. Although type 2 diabetes is preventable, many people may not be aware that they are at risk of developing the disease. Most are not able to follow the preventive measures in time to avoid the disease from developing. The recent discovery of a biomarker for type 2 diabetes may prove helpful in detecting the disease early in people.

Researchers from Vanderbilt Heart and Vascular Institute and the Massachusetts General Hospital has a identified a biomarker called metabolite 2-aminoadipic acid or 2-AAA which is associated with type 2 diabetes risk. The researchers found out that individuals with increased levels of 2-AAA have a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to individuals with low 2-AAA levels.

The researchers conducted a study involving 188 individuals who developed type 2 diabetes and 188 individuals without diabetes. The participants were part of the Framingham Heart Study and were followed up for a period of 12 years.

Based on the blood samples of the participants, the researchers was able to identify the novel biomarker. According to Thomas Wang, M.D. director of the Division of Cardiology at Vanderbilt, “From the baseline blood samples, we identified a novel biomarker, 2-aminoadipic acid (2-AAA), that was higher in people who went on to develop diabetes than in those who did not. That information was above and beyond knowing their blood sugar at baseline, knowing whether they were obese, or had other characteristics that put them at risk.”

Individuals who showed 2-AAA levels at the top quartile had four times the risk of developing diabetes as compared to the participants who belonged in the lowest quartile. Upon further study, the researchers found out that 2-AAA given to mice can change the way their bodies metabolize glucose. They also seem to influence the function of the pancreas, which is responsible for producing insulin, the hormone that helps regulate blood sugar levels in the body.

The researcher further found out that the high levels of the biomarker was already present in at-risk individuals for up to 12 years prior to the onset of type 2 diabetes. Further studies will try to determine just how 2-AAA regulates the function of the pancreatic cells and the instances that will lead the body to produce this molecule. The researchers will also try to study whether administration of the biomarker in human controls will also have the same effect as it did in mice models. Results of the study are published on the October issue of The Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Source: ScienceDaily