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March 6, 2008

Research In Diabetes Surgery Offers Clues To Origins Of The Disease

Topics: Diabetes

There's new hope for people with Type 2 Diabetes ...

Can surgery cure Type 2 diabetes? Dr. Francesco Rubino of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center believes so, and says that gastrointestinal bypass surgery is an approach that not only may change the way the disease is treated, but that introduces a new way of thinking about diabetes. It turns out that gastrointestinal bypass operations involving rerouting the gastrointestinal tract (i.e., gastric bypass) can cause diabetes remission independently of any weight loss, and even in subjects that are not obese, which points to the small bowel as the possible site of critical mechanisms for the development of diabetes:

Clinical studies have shown that procedures that simply restrict the stomach's size (i.e., gastric banding) improve diabetes only by inducing massive weight loss. By studying diabetes in animals, Dr. Rubino was the first to provide scientific evidence that gastrointestinal bypass operations involving rerouting the gastrointestinal tract (i.e., gastric bypass) can cause diabetes remission independently of any weight loss, and even in subjects that are not obese.

"By answering the question of how diabetes surgery works, we may be answering the question of how diabetes itself works," says Dr. Rubino, who is a professor in the Department of Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College and chief of gastrointestinal metabolic surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell.

Dr. Rubino's prior research has shown that the primary mechanisms by which gastrointestinal bypass procedures control diabetes specifically rely on the bypass of the upper small intestine -- the duodenum and jejunum. This is a key finding that may point to the origins of diabetes.

"When we bypass the duodenum and jejunum, we are bypassing what may be the source of the problem," says Dr. Rubino, who is heading up NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell's Diabetes Surgery Center.

In fact, it has become increasingly evident that the gastrointestinal tract plays an important role in energy regulation, and that many gut hormones are involved in the regulation of sugar metabolism. "It should not surprise anyone that surgically altering the bowel's anatomy affects the mechanisms that regulate blood sugar levels, eventually influencing diabetes," Dr. Rubino says.

Source: The Hindu News Update Service

Posted by Richard at March 6, 2008 11:43 AM


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