New protein could treat severe diabetic complications, finds study

A new study has shown that a recently discovered protein called neuronostatin could give new ways to treat and prevent hypoglycaemia, which is sometimes deadly for people with diabetes.

Written by April 7, 2019 14:49

New Delhi: A new study has shown that a recently discovered protein called neuronostatin could give new ways to treat and prevent hypoglycaemia, which is sometimes deadly for people with diabetes.

The research was presented at the American Physiological Society’s annual meeting during the 2019 Experimental Biology meeting. People with diabetes who use insulin to control their blood sugar can experience a dangerous condition called hypoglycemia when blood sugar levels fall too low.

For people with diabetes, taking too much insulin can lead to low blood sugar, causing dizziness and sleepiness. Symptoms may progress to confusion, seizures, and loss of consciousness if blood sugar levels continue to fall.

diabetes

Severe hypoglycemia can also increase the risk of more hypoglycemic episodes in the following days and leads to a decreased awareness of the symptoms that typically allow a person to sense falling blood sugar levels.

“There are very few options for preventing hypoglycemia or treating hypoglycemia unawareness other than avoiding low blood sugar as much as possible,” said Stephen Grote, a researcher.

“Understanding what neuronostatin does and how it works will provide valuable information for preventing hypoglycemia and provide more complete knowledge into how the pancreas manages blood sugar normally,” he added.

In previous work, Yosten’s research group discovered neuronostatin. Their work has shown that the protein protects against hypoglycemia by causing the pancreas to release less insulin and make more glucagon, a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar levels.