In a study conducted at the Imperial College in London, a team of scientists have uncovered a new inherited form of diabetes and obesity. According to their findings, the altering of certain genes in the body can lead to obesity and type-2 diabetes. It is a known fact that a range of genes in the body are responsible for managing a person’s weight. After the results of this study have been published, there are more than 30 genes altering whose sequence can lead to obesity. The significant aspect of this is that these genes can be passed from generation to generation, similar to Huntington’s disease.
However, the researchers are yet to comment on the extent to which the risk of diabetes and obesity is affected by the genes. For the purpose of the study, an obese woman and her family were selected. The young woman’s and her family’s DNA was altered and the effects observed. The woman who was selected for the study had a history of eating problems since childhood and also suffered from type-2 diabetes, reproductive health issues, and cognitive limitations. The study discovered that she had inherited a genetic change which inhibited her body from producing carboxypeptidase-E (CPE).
CPE is a protein which plays a pivotal role in managing hormones and also in the transmission of signals from the brain which regulates appetite and the level of insulin in the body. It can also affect the reproductive hormones. It has already been proven that a lack of CPE in the system can lead to diabetes and obesity and also memory impairment, in studies conducted on mice. However, no human studies have shown these results, neither has these symptoms been reported in humans.
The striking aspect of this study is that CPE deficiency is rare. For this to happen, a person has to inherit the genetic change from both parents. This is why, for the purpose of the study, the woman who was chosen had parents who are cousins, which increases the chances of her having inherited the genetic change from both. Also, her brother had passed away at age 21, after showing symptoms similar to the ones she was showing.
This study shows that the cause of obesity and diabetes can be genetic and this is why people who are at risk of these conditions should get genetic tests done so that they can be diagnosed properly. Otherwise, they might not be able to get proper treatment for their ailments.