Saturday, June 14, 2008

Other Specific Types of Diabetes Mellitus

Other Specific Types of Diabetes Mellitus

Maturity-onset diabetes of the young (MODY)

This subgroup is a relatively rare monogenic disorder characterized by non–insulin-dependent diabetes with autosomal dominant inheritance and an age at onset of 25 years or younger. Patients are nonobese, and their hyperglycemia is due to impaired glucose-induced secretion of insulin. Six types of MODY have been described. Except for MODY 2, in which a glucokinase gene is defective, all other types involve mutations of a nuclear transcription factor that regulates islet gene expression.

MODY 2 is quite mild, associated with only slight fasting hyperglycemia and few if any microvascular diabetic complications. It generally responds well to hygienic measures or low doses of oral hypoglycemic agents. MODY 3—the most common form—accounts for two-thirds of all MODY cases. The clinical course is similar to that of idiopathic type 2 diabetes in terms of microangiopathy and failure to respond to oral agents with time.

Diabetes due to mutant insulins

This is a very rare subtype of nonobese type 2 diabetes, with no more than ten families having been described. Since affected individuals were heterozygous and possessed one normal insulin gene, diabetes was mild, did not appear until middle age, and showed autosomal dominant genetic transmission. There is generally no evidence of clinical insulin resistance, and these patients respond well to standard therapy.

Diabetes due to mutant insulin receptors

Defects in one of their insulin receptor genes have been found in more than 40 people with diabetes, and most have extreme insulin resistance associated with acanthosis nigricans. In very rare instances when both insulin receptor genes are abnormal, newborns present with a leprechaun-like phenotype and seldom live through infancy.

Diabetes mellitus associated with a mutation of mitochondrial DNA

Since sperm do not contain mitochondria, only the mother transmits mitochondrial genes to her offspring. Diabetes due to a mutation of mitochondrial DNA that impairs the transfer of leucine or lysine into mitochondrial proteins has been described. Most patients have a mild form of diabetes that responds to oral hypoglycemic agents; some have a nonimmune form of type 1 diabetes. Two-thirds of patients with this subtype of diabetes have a hearing loss, and a smaller proportion (15%) had a syndrome of myopathy, encephalopathy, lactic acidosis, and stroke-like episodes (MELAS).

Wolfram's syndrome

Wolfram's syndrome is an autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disorder first evident in childhood. It consists of diabetes insipidus, diabetes mellitus, optic atrophy, and deafness, hence the acronym DIDMOAD. It is due to mutations in a gene named WFS1, which encodes a 100.3 KDa transmembrane protein localized in the endoplasmic reticulum. The function of the protein is not known. The diabetes mellitus, which is nonimmune and not linked to specific HLA antigens, usually presents in the first decade together with the optic atrophy. Cranial diabetes insipidus and sensorineural deafness develop during the second decade in 60–75% of patients. Ureterohydronephrosis, neurogenic bladder, cerebellar ataxia, peripheral neuropathy, and psychiatric illness develop later in many patients.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus - Explained

Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

This represents a heterogeneous group of conditions that used to occur predominantly in adults, but it is now more frequently encountered in children and adolescents. More than 90% of all diabetic persons in the United States are included under this classification. Circulating endogenous insulin is sufficient to prevent ketoacidosis but is inadequate to prevent hyperglycemia in the face of increased needs owing to tissue insensitivity (insulin resistance).

Genetic and environmental factors combine to cause both the insulin resistance and the beta cell loss. Most epidemiologic data indicate strong genetic influences, since in monozygotic twins over 40 years of age, concordance develops in over 70% of cases within a year whenever type 2 diabetes develops in one twin. Attempts to identify genes for type 2 diabetics that cause the insulin resistance and the beta cell failure have as yet been unsuccessful, although linkage to a gene on chromosome 2 encoding a cysteine protease, calpain-10, has been reported in a Mexican-American population. However, its association with other ethnic populations and any role it plays in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes remain to be clarified.

Early in the disease process, hyperplasia of pancreatic B cells occurs and probably accounts for the fasting hyperinsulinism and exaggerated insulin and proinsulin responses to glucose and other stimuli. With time, chronic deposition of amyloid in the islets may combine with inherited genetic defects progressively to impair B cell function.

Obesity is the most important environmental factor causing insulin resistance. The degree and prevalence of obesity varies among different racial groups with type 2 diabetes. While obesity is apparent in no more than 30% of Chinese and Japanese patients with type 2, it is found in 60–70% of North Americans, Europeans, or Africans with type 2 and approaches 100% of patients with type 2 among Pima Indians or Pacific Islanders from Nauru or Samoa.

Visceral obesity, due to accumulation of fat in the omental and mesenteric regions, correlates with insulin resistance; subcutaneous abdominal fat seems to have less of an association with insulin insensitivity. Exercise may affect the deposition of visceral fat as suggested by CT scans of Japanese wrestlers, whose extreme obesity is predominantly subcutaneous. Their daily vigorous exercise program prevents accumulation of visceral fat, and they have normal serum lipids and euglycemia despite daily intakes of 5000–7000 kcal and development of massive subcutaneous obesity. Several adipokines, secreted by fat cells, can affect insulin action in obesity. Two of these, leptin and adiponectin, seem to increase sensitivity to insulin, presumably by increasing hepatic responsiveness. Two others—tumor necrosis factor-, which inactivates insulin receptors, and the newly discovered peptide, resistin—interfere with insulin action on glucose metabolism and have been reported to be elevated in obese animal models. Mutations or abnormal levels of these adipokines may contribute to the development of insulin resistance in human obesity.

Hyperglycemia per se can impair insulin action by causing accumulation of hexosamines in muscle and fat tissue and by inhibiting glucose transport (acquired glucose toxicity). Correction of hyperglycemia reverses this acquired insulin resistance.

Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus - Explained

Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus

This form of diabetes is immune-mediated in over 90% of cases and idiopathic in less than 10%. The rate of pancreatic B cell destruction is quite variable, being rapid in some individuals and slow in others. Type 1 diabetes is usually associated with ketosis in its untreated state. It occurs at any age but most commonly arises in children and young adults with a peak incidence before school age and again at around puberty. It is a catabolic disorder in which circulating insulin is virtually absent, plasma glucagon is elevated, and the pancreatic B cells fail to respond to all insulinogenic stimuli. Exogenous insulin is therefore required to reverse the catabolic state, prevent ketosis, reduce the hyperglucagonemia, and reduce blood glucose.

Immune-mediated type 1 diabetes mellitus

The highest incidence of immune-mediated type 1 diabetes mellitus is in Scandinavia and northern Europe, where the annual incidence is as high as 37 per 100,000 children aged 14 years or younger in Finland, 27 per 100,000 in Sweden, 22 per 100,000 in Norway, and 19 per 100,000 in the United Kingdom. The annual incidence of type 1 diabetes decreases across the rest of Europe to 10 per 100,000 in Greece and 8 per 100,000 in France. Surprisingly, the island of Sardinia has as high an annual incidence as Finland (37 per 100,000) even though in the rest of Italy, including the island of Sicily, it is only 10 per 100,000 per year. In the United States, the annual incidence of type 1 diabetes averages 15 per 100,000, with higher rates in states more densely populated with persons of Scandinavian descent such as Minnesota. Worldwide, the lowest incidence of type 1 diabetes (< 1 case per 100,000 per year) is in China and parts of South America. The global incidence of type 1 diabetes is increasing (approximately 3% each year).

Approximately one-third of the disease susceptibility is due to genes and two-thirds to environmental factors. Genes that are related to the HLA locus contribute about 40% of the genetic risk. About 95% of patients with type 1 diabetes possess either HLA-DR3 or HLA-DR4, compared with 45–50% of white controls. HLA-DQ genes are even more specific markers of type 1 susceptibility, since a particular variety (HLA-DQB1*0302) is found in the DR4 patients with type 1, while a "protective" gene (HLA-DQB1*0602) is often present in the DR4 controls. The other important gene that contributes to about 10% of the genetic risk is found at the 5' polymorphic region of the insulin gene. This polymorphic region affects the expression of the insulin gene in the thymus and results in depletion of insulin-specific T lymphocytes. In linkage studies, 16 other genetic regions of the human genome have been identified as being important to pathogenesis but less is known about them.

Most patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus have circulating antibodies to islet cells (ICA), insulin (IAA), glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD65), and tyrosine phosphatases (IA-2 and IA2-) at the time the diagnosis is made. These antibodies facilitate screening for an autoimmune cause of diabetes, particularly screening siblings of affected children, as well as adults with atypical features of type 2 diabetes (Table 27–3). Antibody levels decline with increasing duration of disease. Also, low levels of anti-insulin antibodies develop in almost all patients once they are treated with insulin.

Family members of diabetic probands are at increased lifetime risk for developing type 1 diabetes. A child whose mother has type 1 diabetes has a 3% risk of developing the disease and a 6% risk if the child's father has it. The risk in siblings is related to the number of HLA haplotypes that the sibling shares with the diabetic proband. If one haplotype is shared, the risk is 6% and if two haplotypes are shared, the risk increases to 12–25%. The highest risk is for identical twins, where the concordance rate is 25–50%.

Some patients with a milder expression of type 1 diabetes mellitus initially retain enough B cell function to avoid ketosis, but as their B cell mass diminishes later in life, dependence on insulin therapy develops. Islet cell antibody surveys among northern Europeans indicate that up to 15% of "type 2" diabetic patients may actually have this mild form of type 1 diabetes (latent autoimmune diabetes of adulthood; LADA). Evidence for environmental factors playing a role in the development of type 1 diabetes include the observation that the disease is more common in Scandinavian countries and becomes progressively less frequent in countries nearer and nearer to the equator. Also, the risk for type 1 diabetes increases when individuals who normally have a low risk emigrate to the Northern Hemisphere. For example, it was recently shown that Pakistani children born and raised in Bradford, England have a higher risk for developing type 1 diabetes compared with children who lived in Pakistan all their lives.

Which environmental factor is responsible for the increased risk is not known. There have been a number of different hypotheses including infections with certain viruses (rubella, Coxsackie B4) and consumption of cow's milk. Also, in developed countries, childhood infections have become less frequent and so perhaps the immune system becomes dysregulated with development of autoimmunity and conditions such as asthma and diabetes. This theory is referred to as the hygiene hypothesis. None of these factors has so far been confirmed as the culprit. Part of the difficulty is that autoimmune injury undoubtedly starts many years before clinical diabetes mellitus develops.

Idiopathic type 1 diabetes mellitus

Less than 10% of subjects have no evidence of pancreatic B cell autoimmunity to explain their insulinopenia and ketoacidosis. This subgroup has been classified as "idiopathic type 1 diabetes" and designated as "type 1B." Although only a minority of patients with type 1 diabetes fall into this group, most of these are of Asian or African origin. It was recently reported that about 4% of the West Africans with ketosis-prone diabetes are homozygous for a mutation in PAX-4 (Arg133Trp)—a gene that is essential for the development of pancreatic islets.

Diabetes Mellitus Explained - Doctor's View

Diabetes Mellitus

Essentials of Diagnosis

Type 1 diabetes

Polyuria, polydipsia, and weight loss associated with random plasma glucose 200 mg/dL. Plasma glucose of 126 mg/dL or higher after an overnight fast, documented on more than one occasion. Ketonemia, ketonuria, or both. Islet autoantibodies are frequently present.

Type 2 diabetes

Most patients are over 40 years of age and obese. Polyuria and polydipsia. Ketonuria and weight loss generally are uncommon at time of diagnosis. Candidal vaginitis in women may be an initial manifestation. Many patients have few or no symptoms. Plasma glucose of 126 mg/dL or higher after an overnight fast on more than one occasion. After 75 g oral glucose, diagnostic values are 200 mg/dL or more 2 hours after the oral glucose. Hypertension, dyslipidemia, and atherosclerosis are often associated.