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  • Thinking ahead on diabetes

    first_imgDoctors may be able to identify individuals at elevated risk of developing type 2 diabetes as much as a decade before symptoms of the disorder appear by measuring the levels of small molecules in the blood.In a report in Nature Medicine, a team led by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) researchers describes finding that levels of five amino acids not only indicated increased diabetes risk in a general population but also could differentiate among individuals with traditional risk factors such as obesity those most likely to actually develop diabetes.“These findings could provide insight into metabolic pathways that are altered very early in the process leading to diabetes,” says lead author Thomas Wang, an MGH cardiologist and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS). “They also raise the possibility that, in selected individuals, these measurements could identify those at highest risk of developing diabetes so that early preventive measures could be instituted.”New technologies to measure levels of metabolites — small molecules produced by metabolic activities and released into the bloodstream — are giving investigators more insight into the metabolic status of patients.  Because the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes marks the culmination of a years-long breakdown of the body’s system for metabolizing glucose, the ability to detect that breakdown at a stage when lifestyle changes could halt the process may significantly reduce the incidence of the disease.  Known risk factors such as obesity and elevated glucose levels often signify that diabetes actually is present, so earlier identification of at-risk individuals is critical to more effective preventive measures, the authors note.Some earlier studies had found elevated levels of certain amino acids in individuals who are obese or have insulin resistance, a condition that precedes full-blown type 2 diabetes.  But no previous study examined whether levels of these or other metabolites predicted the future development of diabetes in currently healthy individuals.The current study began with an analysis of data from the Framingham Offspring Study, which follows a group of adult children of participants in the original Framingham Heart Study.  Out of 2,400 study participants who entered the study in 1991 and 1995, about 200 developed type 2 diabetes during the following 12 years.Using the baseline blood samples, the research team measured levels of 61 metabolites in 189 participants who later developed diabetes and 189 others — matched for age, sex, and diabetes risk factors such as obesity and fasting glucose levels — who remained diabetes free.This analysis found that elevations in five amino acids — isoleucine, leucine, valine, tyrosine, and phenylalanine — were significantly associated with the later development of type 2 diabetes.  Several of these amino acids were the same ones that in smaller studies were found to be elevated in individuals with obesity or insulin resistance, and other evidence has suggested they may directly affect glucose regulation.  The association of levels of these five amino acids with future diabetes development was replicated in 326 participants in the Malmo Diet and Cancer Study.The investigators then found that measuring combinations of several metabolites, as opposed to a single amino acid, improved risk prediction.  Overall, in individuals closely matched for traditional risk factors for type 2 diabetes, those with the highest levels of the three most predictive amino acids had a four to five times greater risk of developing diabetes than did those with the lowest levels.“Several groups have suggested that these amino acids can aberrantly activate an important metabolic pathway involved in cellular growth or can somehow poison the mitochondria that provide cellular energy,” says senior author Robert Gerszten, associate professor of medicine at HMS and director of clinical and translational Research for the MGH Heart Center. “From a clinical perspective, we need to see if these markers, which we found using data from only about 1,000 individuals, do identify truly high-risk individuals who should be triaged to early preventive treatment and intensive lifestyle interventions.  Additional basic investigations can reveal if these metabolites play a role in the process leading to diabetes and if there are ways we can stop the damage.”last_img read more

  • Syracuse stifles Bucknell, forces season-high 23 turnovers in 97-46 win

    first_img Published on November 23, 2019 at 3:36 pm Contact Michael: [email protected] | @MikeJMcCleary Facebook Twitter Google+ Before Syracuse forced its highest turnover total of the season and ran away with a 97-46 win, the Orange started off with a mistake of their own. Not a second had ticked off the game clock and Bourama Sidibe walked to mid-court to get the tip. SU always makes him do the tip, he joked. This time, he won it easily and knocked the ball over the head of Buddy Boeheim. “Well, go get it,” Sidibe said to Buddy, laughing. Buddy chuckled and shook his head.“They’re always trying to say, ‘Oh, well you gotta get tip,’” Sidibe quipped after the game. “So when I get one, I want them to catch it too.”It was a foreshadowing of comfort in a win that never was close. The Orange’s stifling defense opened the gates for an offense that scored its highest point total since February of 2017. SU forced its 23 turnovers (the most by an opponent so far this season) and blocked a season-high 13 shots en route to the blowout win. SU’s zone caused trouble for Bucknell to convert on inside scoring opportunities and pass around for an open shot on the perimeter.“Steals, blocks, defense,” SU head coach Jim Boeheim said. “We were active.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSyracuse pressured immediately to start the game. The Bison turned the ball over six times in the first six minutes of play. Looking for openings often gave SU time to poke the ball away and forcing the ball into tight spots led to easy interceptions.The Orange played Marek Dolezaj together on the court frequently with Sidibe, which closed off the interior while allowing their versatile bigs to grow comfortable to take away options on the corners. On one of the first plays of the game, Bucknell’s Bruce Moore beat Sidibe down the court and caught a pass for a transition look at the basket. The Bison tried the move again several times and each time SU got a hand on the ball or took it out of the air.Midway through the first half, and in the midst of the scoring barrage from the Orange, Bucknell swung a pass around the perimeter in hopes of finding an open shot. But when Bucknell’s Ben Robertson found a shot he liked in the corner, Elijah Hughes jumped out from underneath the rim, flew by Robertson and swatted Robertson’s 3-pointer out of bounds with his left hand. In a game where the Orange could afford simple mistakes, Syracuse’s close-outs frequently turned into blocked shots.“We moved. Everybody moved. We stepped out on the shooters,” Dolezaj said. “The key was defense today.”The loose balls from blocks and poke-aways sent Syracuse back in transition, where for the first time all season, it converted in a dominant way. Syracuse produced 37 points off turnovers and even more off of blocks that were taken the other way. One late first-half run saw SU run the same set multiple times with a shooter lined up on the opposite side as a player in the paint attacked the right side. The sequence led to two back-to-back open shots in the same spot — the first Joe Girard III, then Buddy.In the second half, the game started to settle: Syracuse’s offense built on its hot start, the Bison continued to throw the ball away and the score grew further and further apart.After five straight points from the Orange, again the ball was loose on the ground for Syracuse to take on the break. A Dolezaj block sent Hughes out on the break. A few plays after a tomahawk dunk on the baseline, Hughes was prepared for another highlight. The ball trickled out to him and his gather slipped from his hands and out of bounds. Hughes laughed and shook his head as he gave joking greetings to his teammates and approached his seat with a little over nine minutes left in the game. The lead was at 48. Syracuse emptied its bench onto the floor. Commentslast_img read more