2 November New Ways To Predict The Risk Of Gestational Diabetes November 2, 2017 By The Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center 0 DRC Director's Report - November 2017 We are pleased to announce that Dr. Wei Bao, Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology, College of Public Health, University of Iowa, and a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center (FOEDRC) was recently awarded a $419,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to fund a project entitled: Pregnancy-associated microRNAs in plasma as predictors of gestational diabetes. Some of the preliminary work that contributed to this award were provided by pilot funding from the FOEDRC. Pregnancy is a condition characterized by progressive insulin resistance and impaired glucose metabolism. Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a common pregnancy complication that is defined as glucose intolerance with onset or first recognition during pregnancy. GDM affects 9% of pregnant women in the United States and its prevalence is increasing. Understanding the etiology of GDM and early identification of women at risk of GDM is of great importance, because GDM is associated with increased risk of adverse health outcomes in both mothers and their children. As a pregnancy complication, GDM may involve not only pathways shared with type 2 diabetes, but also pregnancy-related unique factors. The DNA within the human placenta generates a diverse transcriptome, including numerous microRNA species. Recently, the findings that microRNAs of placental origin are released in the maternal circulation throughout pregnancy has raised the exciting prospect of using microRNA expression profiles as non-invasive markers of placental function during pregnancy. Pregnancy-associated microRNAs in the maternal circulation may represent a channel for fetal-maternal communication. However, the role of pregnancy-associated microRNAs in the development and prediction of GDM remains unknown. In this proposed study, Dr. Bao will investigate: (1) The association between pregnancy-associated circulating microRNAs during early pregnancy and subsequent risk of GDM. (2) The potential utility of pregnancy-associated circulating microRNAs during early pregnancy in predicting the risk of GDM, and (3) The associations of pregnancy-associated circulating microRNAs with placental hormones and GDM-related metabolic markers in maternal plasma samples. The project will use plasma samples along with data that are already collected in the Maternal Fetal Tissue Bank at the University of Iowa. Dr. Bao’s team will measure pregnancy-associated microRNAs (using PCR) in early pregnancy plasma samples of GDM cases and matched controls. This information will be correlated with levels of placental hormones and GDM-related metabolic markers and information on maternal characteristics such as age, body weight, and clinical diagnosis of GDM. These studies are important because early prediction of GDM, will not only improve treatment options for the mother, but will also prevent complications in the developing infant. Related An M-Health Intervention To Increase Activity Among Patients At Risk For Type 2 Diabetes In 2013, Dr. Philip Polgreen was the recipient of a FOEDRC Pilot Grant for his research entitled, “To evaluate a novel tool using text messages as a mechanism to promote sustained weight loss in patients with obesity and insulin resistance.” This cutting edge science was recently recognized and awarded additional funding by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Chemicals in Plastic Bottles and the Risk of Obesity and Diabetes DRC Director's Report, August 2017 As you all know, there are many factors that may contribute to the growing risk of obesity and diabetes worldwide. Many understand that an unhealthy diet, gaining too much weight or not exercising enough will certainly contribute to increasing your risk of diabetes. However, there is also a growing realization that certain environmental exposures and chemicals to which we might be exposed could also increase this risk. How Diabetes Harms The Heart Study in mice involving FOEDRC researchers, reveals heart-damaging pathway triggered by insulin, identifies possible drug targets to prevent or treat heart failure. Diabetes is hard on the heart. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in people with diabetes, and risk for heart failure—where the heart can’t pump enough blood—is two to three times higher in men and up to five times higher in women with diabetes compared to people without diabetes. Progress In Preventing Eye Disease In Diabetes A research team lead by Mark A. Greiner, M.D., Assistant Professor, Cornea and External Diseases in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and member of the FOEDRC, at the University of Iowa is doing interesting work in understanding how diabetes affects the Cornea. DRC Researchers Publish Major Breakthrough In Understanding How Diabetes Induces Eye Damage In the retina, diabetes damages nerves before it damages blood vessels. Diabetes is a major risk factor for severe vision loss and blindness. A condition known as retinal diabetic neuropathy causes visual impairment through the degeneration of small nerves (neurons) in light-sensitive tissue called the retina, which lines the back of the eye. Casey Receives Grant Funding from American Diabetes Association Congratulations to Darren Casey, PhD, assistant professor of physical therapy and rehabilitation science, for recently receiving the American Diabetes Association Innovative Clinical or Translational Science Award. For his proposal entitled - Nitrate supplementation and exercise tolerance in patients with Type 2 Diabetes. Dr. Casey received this award after a National Competition that selected a fraction of the most meritorious proposals. Showing 0 Comment Comments are closed.