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‘Key player’ genes indentified that could lead to Type 1 diabetes

Scientists in London published new research this week identifying an entire network of genes associated with Type 1 diabetes. This is the first time such a discovery has been made and will help us to advance our knowledge and take a step forward in finding ways to halt, prevent and treat Type 1 diabetes.

Gene discovery

In recent years numerous individual genes have been identified which increase a person’s risk of developing diabetes. However, scientists at Imperial College London, led by Dr Stuart Cook, have now discovered an entire network of genes that are associated with Type 1 diabetes and have also pinpointed particular genes that control this network and increase the risk of diabetes.The research, which has been joint-funded by the Government and charity funders and published in the journal Nature, has the potential to help improve and develop more targeted treatments for people with Type 1 diabetes. 

Still a long way to go

Dr Victoria King, Head of Research at Diabetes UK, said: "This research is of great interest as any advancement made to improve our knowledge about what triggers or controls the development of Type 1 diabetes is important for finding ways to prevent and treat Type 1 diabetes. We will certainly be following how this increased knowledge progresses with great interest and enthusiasm."While research like this increases our knowledge of Type 1 diabetes, it should be noted that  there is still a way to go before this new knowledge transforms into direct patient benefit and it’s important that people do not believe that this increase in knowledge will transform into a miracle cure in the immediate future."

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