Friday, January 6, 2017

How can research on big data improve diabetes therapy?

Karolinska Institute: “As the incidence of type 2 diabetes rises around the world, we need to find new strategies for understanding, preventing and treating this serious, chronic disease,” says conference co-arranger Professor Anna Krook at Karolinska Institutet’s Department of Physiology and Pharmacology. “Large data sets, or Big Data, can help us understand how genes and environment interact, giving rise to possibilities for personalised intervention strategies .” Most people who develop type 2 diabetes are never cured and have to live with chronic type 2 diabetes. Prediabetes is a precursor of diabetes found in many people before the diagnosis and as we will hear from Steven E. Kahn from the University of Washington, USA, early intervention can prevent its development into full-blown diabetes.

In recent years, several new drugs for type 2 diabetes have appeared with mechanisms of action that differ from previous therapies. What can we expect next? Maybe an attempt to rescue the beta cells that otherwise suffer burnout as diabetes progresses? This and other conceivable approaches for the future will be addressed by Debbie C. Thurmond from the Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope, USA.  
Hunger, the drive to eat, obesity and diabetes will be linked during a presentation by Scott M. Sternson from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, USA . He investigates exactly which brain cells are engaged in the sensation of hunger. Joseph Takahashi from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, USA, is one of the world’s leading researchers in the field of the circadian rhythm, how it operates in different tissues and how its disruption can lead to disease .
Sex and sex hormones have a considerable impact on how diabetes develops, but so far science has not paid this much attention, reasons Deborah Clegg from the Cedars-Sinai Diabetes and Obesity Research Institute, USA. Sex-based research and the gender adaptation of treatment can made a big difference .